Global Down Syndrome Foundation Raises Record $2.6 Million At Its 9th Annual Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show

The sold-out star-studded event attracted over 1,300 attendees from 22 states and 10 countries

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Kathy Green | | 720-280-9725
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DENVER – The Global Down Syndrome Foundation raised a record $2.6 million for life-changing research and medical care at its 9th annual Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show held on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, at the Sheraton Downtown Denver.

Chaired by Peter Kudla, CEO of Metropolitan Homes Inc., the sold-out event attracted more than 1,300 attendees from 22 states and 10 countries. Music Icon Quincy Jones was on hand to present his namesake award, the “Q Exceptional Advocacy Award” to actress and activist Eva Longoria and to model phenom Madeline Stuart. The fashion show grand finale procession to Quincy Jones’ “We Are the World” brought the audience to its feet.

A roster of impressive celebrities and VIPs including Jamie Foxx, DeOndra Dixon, Marisa Tomei, Joe Manganiello, John C. McGinley, Matt Dillon, Denis O’Hare, Amanda Booth and 2017 Ambassador Marcus Sikora made powerful contributions to the evening.

“This is the fourth year in a row that we have sold out,” said Global President and CEO Michelle Sie Whitten. “It is deeply gratifying to know that so many people care about the terrible lack of funding for Down syndrome research and medical care. Of course, our models with Down syndrome make the event so joyous and inspirational, it has become an annual destination for our families and supporters.”

Global’s Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show is the single largest fundraiser benefitting people with Down syndrome in the world. The money raised supports critical research conducted by the Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome on the Anschutz Medical Campus and life-saving medical care at the Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado. This year’s proceeds add to the over $14 million already raised in the previous eight fashion shows held by Global Down Syndrome Foundation.

“Global’s research funding is already helping us make giant strides in exploring the unique disease spectrum affecting the population with Down syndrome,” said Dr. Joaquín Espinosa, executive director of the Crnic Institute. “We now know that Down syndrome can be understood in large measure as an immune system disorder, which opens the door to find new treatments and therapies, and allows us to better explore the connections that may help cure Alzheimer’s disease.”

Down syndrome is the leading cause of developmental delay and the population of people with the condition is increasing dramatically in the U.S. Yet over the last two decades Down syndrome has been one of the least funded genetic conditions by the federal government, specifically the National Institutes of Health.

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