Michelle Sie Whitten Receives the Inaugural National Football Foundation Community Outreach Award


Denver, CO (February 24, 2011) — The Global Down Syndrome Foundation announced today that executive director, Michelle Sie Whitten has received the inaugural National Football Foundation Community Outreach Award for her work with former Bronco, Ed McCaffrey. Whitten and Mcaffrey created the Dare To Play Football Camp for Children with Down Syndrome and the  Dare To Cheer Camp for Children with Down Syndrome.

Whitten received the award at the 18TH Annual National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet at the Denver West Marriott on Monday, February 21st. Ed McCaffrey was also honored at the banquet with The Jim Turner Award. Valor football coaches Rod Sherman and Brian Kula were present at the banquet to show support for McCaffrey and Whitten as they received the awards.

 “I am so honored to receive this award from the National Football Foundation and of course, the camp would have remained just a dream if not for Ed McCaffrey”, said Whitten, whose organization is focused on raising money for research, awareness and advocacy for people with Down syndrome .

 “Ed’s vision and commitment to the community is truly unmatched. There’s a good reason that the camps are called Ed McCaffrey Dare to Play Football and Ed McCaffrey Dare to Cheer.  We are so grateful for his help in making a difference in the lives of our children with Down syndrome”.

Held for the first time last June, The Ed McCaffrey Dare to Play and Dare to Cheer Camps are a result of the combined efforts of McCaffrey, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, the Sie Center for Down Syndrome at The Children Hospital and Valor Christian High School. Under McCaffrey’s leadership and with help from football coaches at Valor and cheerleaders from Rockstarz, the two day camp taught individuals with Down syndrome football and cheerleading skills.

The annual banquet honors outstanding high school scholar-athletes- athletes in the state – young men who have distinguished themselves on the field, in the classroom and in extracurricular activities where leadership abilities are displayed.

About the National Football Foundation

The Colorado Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame was chartered on July 1, 1992, and is one of 123 chapters that make up the organization. Its members include former players, coaches, athletics administrators, educators, officials, news media and football fans, all of who enjoy the game of football and share its purposes and goals.

About Global Down Syndrome Foundation

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GDSF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome by supporting basic research, clinical research and clinical care. Established in 2009, the foundation’s primary focus is to support the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome. The Linda Crnic Institute is the first organization in the US with the mission to eradicate the medical and cognitive ill effects associated with Down syndrome through basic and clinical research and through clinical care. The Linda Crnic Institute incorporates scientific partners both locally and globally, with headquarters at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Colorado.  To learn more about the Global Down Syndrome Foundation or the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome please visit us at www.coloradojetset.com.