BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Gigi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center needs the community’s help!
“Its’ mission is to really change the way the world views down syndrome,” said President Will Mondschein. “We offer programs, career based, life skill based, for individuals with Down Syndrome of all ages.”
While GiGi’s has 60 locations across the country, its’ Buffalo location on Kenmore Avenue has yet to open its doors. “We were five days from opening when the shut down occurred,” said Mondschein.
With many fundraisers canceled due to covid-19, its asking the community to take part in the nationwide, ‘Step to Accept Challenge’ Virtual Run-Walk-Ride, Saturday.
“We’re all going to start at one time and then we’re trying to log 7 million accumulative steps,” he said. “That’s how many it takes to get across the entire country.”
To register just head steptoaccept.org, it’s $21 for adults and $10 for children.
“That funding will help the Buffalo Playhouse stay open and run,” he said. “The programs are free to families but they aren’t free to execute.”
Board President, Will Mondschein has a five-year-old named Paul with Down Syndrome. So for him, what’s most important is to driving acceptance.
“A group, a population of people coming together, speaking out and just saying, we’re for acceptance. We accept anybody and everybody, in every form they are in,” he said.
Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.