The community comes together to raise funds for the Down syndrome community of W. MI

BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, but advocacy groups are starting their awareness efforts early with an event on Saturday.

The Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan held its annual awareness and fundraising event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Special Olympics Michigan Unified Sports and Inclusion Center, located in 160 68th St. SW.

About 1,000 people attended the fundraising walk to show their support for people with Down syndrome.

The executive director said Saturday morning that they had raised nearly $100,000. They need over $130,000 to surpass their goal.

For the second year in a row, the top fundraising team was “Fist Bumps for Callen”. The team raised $7,662 for fundraising efforts.

The money raised funds special projects, events and services for families, healthcare professionals and disability organizations.

“Welcome baskets when someone is diagnosed at the Adult Cooking and Reading Club. we even have support for families looking to adopt someone with Down syndrome and all of these programs are free for those families,” said Katie Hollis, executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan.

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