20th annual Step Up for Down Syndrome held at Clovis Rodeo Grounds 

Noah (middle) from Team Noah at the Step Up for Down Syndrome’s 20th Anniversary event stands next to Jennifer Whiting (right), Executive Director for DSACC. Noah won the award for “Most Spirited” at the event. (Photo J.T. Gomez, Clovis Roundup)

October 22, 2023 – The Down Syndrome Association of Central California (DSACC) held their 20th Annual “Step Up for Down Syndrome” event at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds Saturday, October 21st.

Present at the event were booths lined with fun games and activities as well as information on Down syndrome geared towards families and the public. 

DSACC’s donation goal this year was $60,000 and as of Saturday morning they had reached a $40,000 total.

Jennifer Whiting, Executive Director for DSACC, says that the festival and fun walk were created to celebrate the abilities and value of those with Down syndrome. 

“We’re excited to be back in the Rodeo Grounds, with over 600 participants this year.” 

Whiting also explained that there were about 30 vendors with 9 vendors who have Down syndrome themselves while owning and operating their own businesses. 

“This event is not only about raising awareness but about connecting with local resources.” 

DeAndra Inman, President of the Board of Directors for DSACC says that DSACC not only gives support but receives plenty of support from parents and grandparents of those with Down syndrome in return, cementing the power that DSACC holds in providing awareness and corroboration for Down syndrome throughout the Central Valley. 

“I just want to say thank you. Thank you for stepping up and being here. Thank you for helping us to grow to over 950 members. Thank you for showing up and stepping up,” says Inman to those who help and provide for DSACC. 

Some of those who assisted with the 20th Annual Step up for Down Syndrome included the Assistance League of Fresno and their program the “Assisteens”.

The Assisteens are a group of teens learning about philanthropy and leadership, run by coordinator Kim Shehadey. 

Shehadey says that the Assisteens were present at Step up for Down Syndrome in order to cheer on those who made the annual walk with posters and other signs of celebration. The Assisteens also helped with balloons and opening the event. 

DSACC only serves the Central Valley and is not affiliated with any national or state level organizations that provide for Down syndrome. Each and every donation that they receive goes towards benefiting those with Down syndrome within the Valley and they are always looking for help. 

You can donate to the DSACC as well as learn more information at www.dsacc.org.

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.