2015 G021 Event Summary

June 20th, 2015 marked the first event supported by the newly formed “Have a Heart for Down Syndrome” (HHDS) foundation.  The event, Go21 – Halton Walk for Down Syndrome, which was hosted by Halton Down Syndrome Association, was a tremendous success. The weather was outstanding, the venue perfect and the entertainment a blast!

“We are pleased to announce that collected donations hit a record-breaking total, raising over $100,000, far surpassing the initial funding goal of $65,000!”, says Grant Furlane, Co-Founder of HHDS foundation.

These funds will go directly towards helping individuals in the community with Down syndrome. The event brought notable media attention, with articles and photos in the Metroland papers and on Cogeco TV, promoting the cause locally and beyond.  With 1,200+ people in attendance, the event attracted a significant crowd in support of the cause, as we continue to raise awareness of our two organizations and their role within the community.  

The day included a 2km walk through downtown Milton, where members, friends, family and supporters took to the streets in their Go21 T-Shirts, tattoos and face paint, to spread awareness to the community at large.  There was also a carnival with inflatables, a climbing wall, midway games, balloons and entertainment from dancing groups within the Down syndrome community, who showcased their skills, talents and enthusiasm to the crowd.. There was a BBQ, fire truck and an amazing Silent Auction, featuring over a hundred prizes to bid on.  Highlights included a one-week stay at a Lake Huron cottage, a Johnny Bower signed print, a $100 gift bag from 3M and signed hockey memorabilia. A noteworthy speech from Darryl Sittler, former Toronto Maple Leaf Captain and 1989 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee, kicked off the event on a touching note. As Co-Founder of HHDS, his support of the event, the cause and the foundation, starts an exciting phase for the Down syndrome community.  The Have a Heart for Down Syndrome foundation worked collectively to plan and to secure corporate sponsorships for the event and contributed many of the silent auction items. The HHDS foundation aims to dedicate continuous efforts and initiatives to raise awareness and help in bettering the lives of individuals with Down syndrome, providing resources to successfully enable transition into adulthood.

The walk was the first event  of many to come, launching the new relationship between HHDS and HDSA! Mark your calendars for the next Go21 event, scheduled for June 18th, 2016 at the Milton Fairgrounds. Planning for other fantastic events, such as the World Down Syndrome Day Party (March 2016), Casino Night (April 2016), Golf Tournament (July 2016) and Gala (February 2017) is already underway.  Further details will be announced over the course of the next few months.  These initiatives will continue to fund the needs of the HHDS foundation, Halton Down Syndrome Association and the Down syndrome community at-large..

This is where we need your help.  As planning is already underway for next year’s event, we need people willing to take on Chair positions for the major components of the day.  Have a Heart for Down Syndrome and Halton Down Syndrome Association are excited about this blossoming relationship and the possibilities to come.

Team Locomobi at Go21 - Halton Walk for Down Syndrome 2015

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Darryl Sittler, Co-Founder of Have a Heart for Down Syndrome, welcomes and speaks to the crowd at Go21 – Halton Walk for Down Syndrome 2015.

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“There is no better love than the unconditional love of a child!  We do not see the disability in Sydney, rather all her amazing abilities!”, says Leanne Tovey, Chair of Halton Down Syndrome Association, about her daughter Sydney giving a big kiss to Grant Furlane, Co-Founder of Have a Heart for Down Syndrome.