Blog

Our Stories – Charlotte Rice

Posted by on Sep 2, 2020 in Our Stories | 0 comments

charlotte web
Our daughter, Charlotte, was born early at 27 weeks. We had had an inkling that she might have Down syndrome based on preliminary clues that our doctor had seen but never got any sort of confirmation before I went into labor. When she was born, there were so many other complications that Down syndrome seemed really trivial as far as things we should be concerned about. But as she got healthier, it was something that started worrying me. What did Down syndrome mean? What things would she be able to do? How different was this going to be from what I had been expecting?

We received a welcome basket from TVDSA which gave us a lot of information about Down syndrome and I was excited that there was a network of people waiting to help us and give us guidance. What I think helped the most was that one of the NICU nurses knew another parent of a child with DS and asked me if I’d like her phone number. I was quick to say yes and talking to another parent who was already going through this journey really helped to ease my mind even further. She told me all the things her son could do and what an amazing kid he is and encouraged me to join TVDSA to meet other parents and other individuals with DS. Once Charlotte was healthy enough to go out, we started attending playdates and meeting other members.

TVDSA has provided us with a network of knowledge, support, and friends and we are so grateful for everything we have gained from being involved.

Jennifer and Mark Rice

Our Stories – Charlie and Milo McConnel

Posted by on Sep 1, 2020 in Our Stories | 0 comments

IMG_0905

My name is Julie McConnel and my youngest boys, Charlie and Milo, are fraternal twins both with a diagnosis of Down syndrome. We received the news of our double lottery win when I was about 18 weeks pregnant. At the time we had no idea just how lucky we were and we struggled with the uncertainty of a future raising not just one, but two children with an extra chromosome. We were afraid we might not be the best equipped to care for them and even considered finding an adoptive family for them. I’m so thankful that we chose to act in faith rather than fear and decided to parent our two boys, welcoming them into our already good-sized family of six in August of 2015. We have never regretted our decision and love the new perspectives and joys Charlie and Milo have added to our lives. We have developed a greater sense of compassion and understanding for others and learned to slow down a bit and just enjoy the ride. We will get to our destination soon enough so no need to rush.

Finding a community of support and friendship through TVDSA has been one great and unexpected blessing our boys have given us. As the coordinator for Li’l Buddies, I have had the privilege of meeting new families and then seeing those families grow into a community who cares for one another greatly. And of course, I get to watch the cutest, brightest and most precious bunch of children grow and learn. Together we celebrate milestones – first steps, first words, first day of school – share resources and advice, and lift each other up during hard times.

I wish pregnant me could have had a glimpse into the life we have now that Charlie and Milo have been in our lives for 5 years. It is not a life to be feared. It is different than I had expected and planned, but another thing our boys have taught us is that differences are beautiful and worth celebrating!

Julie A. McConnel

COVID-19 Updates

Posted by on Apr 24, 2020 in Our Stories, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hello TVDSA.

These are certainly different times we are in now. To put a TVDSA spin on it, we would hope that these days would be “More Alike Than Different” than pre-pandemic, but that does not seem to be the reality of it.

We hope that you and yours are staying safe.

As we are sure you have heard by now, TVDSA is going through a few changes. We obviously were not expecting a pandemic to throw a wrench into our already rearranged 2020 slate of events.

To ensure we are communicating as transparently as possible, we wanted to post an update to make sure everyone is in the loop on what is going on.

Deliberation on this started early and as you may recall, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, World Down Syndrome Day was changed to a virtual event. We wanted to express our regret on this as we know everyone was looking forward to the event. Given the circumstances, there was really no other choice. We also wanted to publicly express our thanks and gratitude to Erin Rosenkoetter for all her hard work in preparation for the live event. Thanks Erin!

After some additional discussion and consideration, the Board decided to cancel/postpone all TVDSA sponsored events effective immediately and until further notice.

We are aware that many of our groups are small, however, given the makeup of our constituents and the possibility that we are all potential infection vectors to high-risk individuals, we felt it was important to err on the side of caution and make the call for the entire group. The declarations by the Governor of Idaho confirmed our early decisions were the right ones. The social groups in particular look forward to the monthly events and we are all pretty bummed that we can not meet with you all.

We do encourage you to stay in touch with your respective groups and be assured that TVDSA is not going anywhere. We have encouraged our social group organizers, in the near term, to replace scheduled events with some sort of virtual event to maintain some amount of consistency for the TVDSA family. Some have already increased their traffic on the respective Facebook groups and that is great to see. If you are not currently following those groups, please seek them out and join – we would love to hear from you! We sincerely hope that we are all able to meet again in person soon. We send out a big hug and thanks to all our group organizers – we could not do this without them!

For now, TVDSA has the following planned:

  • All social events are canceled until further notice. Due to the nature of each group, some may resume before others.
  • The annual Picnic was initially delayed but after the state roll-back to Phase 3, it was canceled for 2020. Many Thanks to Linda Wells for organizing the picnic for many years running. She is still doing her “one thing”. Thanks Linda!
  • The Golf Tournament was planned for August 30th but after the state roll-back to Phase 3, it was canceled for 2020.
  • We are still planning an October celebration in lieu of the Buddy Walk this year and planning will continue but may change later.

Please check back here and in the newsletter for updates and information on TVDSA event changes due to the pandemic.

Decision-making Guidance
TVDSA is following the State of Idaho recommended guidance regarding event planning and so as that changes, so will our plans. If you would like to review those resources yourself, we recommend the following websites:

coronavirus.idaho.gov
rebound.idaho.gov

If you have any questions, please reach out to us via email or social media.

Thanks again for your efforts to support TVDSA!

Stay Positive, Stay Healthy, Stay Safe.

The TVDSA Board of Directors

Idaho Gives 2020

Posted by on Apr 21, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

official

Idaho Gives is a statewide giving program that is usually one day of giving. This year, to compensate for our inability to get together in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Idaho has the ability to give for TWO WEEKS! taking place from April 23rd to May 7th, 2020, and it’s all online! This year for two amazing weeks, people across our state come together for Idaho nonprofits. It’s a time to celebrate the awesome work of Idaho’s nonprofits and benefit from the power of many. Idaho comes together – be a part of it!

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more crucial that Treasure Valley Down Syndrome Association gets your support now! All of our events that would normally be used to raise funds have been affected and we are still not sure what the rest of the year will look like. Also, bad timing, but this year we are doing a planned refresh on our annual Buddy Walk that was normally in October so we can come back strong in 2021. That said, the intention was to make up for those lost funds with other events. Unfortunately, we have not been able to hold any of the events and the rest may be canceled as well. Please consider donating any funds that you would have given during other events and especially the Buddy Walk during the 2020 Idaho Gives campaign. We really appreciate your support!

Treasure Valley Down Syndrome Association thanks you in advance for your help and participation in Idaho Gives 2020. One of the great and easy ways to get involved is to post pictures on social media and share them with friends and family to encourage them to participate as well. Below is a list of Idaho Gives sign images with relevant sayings on them that you can either download and edit or print “as is” then create your own personal pictures to post back on social media.
Be sure to include the hashtags as well with your fun and inspirational images to support the Down syndrome community and TVDSA.

Hashtags – #IdahoGives #TVDSA #RockThe21 #morealikethandifferent #WhatIBringToMyCommunity #NothingDownAboutIt #Inclusion4All

BIG+IdahoRocks ChromosomesBIG+IdahoRaises AwarenessBIG+IdahoIncludesMeBIG+IdahoAdvocates4me
BIG+IdahoAdvocatesBIG+IdahoAcceptsmeBIG+IdahoAcceptsBIG+Idaho+Includes+BIG+IdahoRocksThe21BIG+Idaho+____+

TVDSA needs your help!
Please mark your calendar and tell your friends – We need your participation to not only support us directly but to help us participate in the contests during Idaho Gives. Each year Idaho Gives awards special bonuses and prizes for each category. Every donation qualifies us for a different contest. You can review the prize structure here to see when would be the best time for you to donate – you can even split it up over several smaller donations during the events to give us a better chance! Last year we had a diligent donor that won us a $500 prize for their well timed, minimum donation!

Tips for best impact from Idaho Gives for TVDSA

  • Consider the full amount that you might give to TVDSA and break that up into smaller, specifically timed, donations to coincide with the different contests.
  • Multiple small donations ($10 minimum) each count as an entry and will have more impact than one larger donation.
  • Set reminders to donate on a specific day/time that coincides with one of the contests listed.
  • Challenge Friends/Family to donate with you during a specific day/time that coincides with one of the contests listed.
  • The number of Unique donations is also important so even minimum donations from other family members will help with the Prize pool awards.

List of contests we ask that you participate in:

  • April 29th – Mid Week Mania – Organizations that receive online/verified donations from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. MT on April 29th will be eligible.
  • May 5th – Tuesday Two Hour Tournament – Drawn randomly every two hours from a pool of verified donations from the previous two hours at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m.
  • May 6th – Mid Week Mania – Organizations that receive online/verified donations from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. MT on May 6th will be eligible.
  • May 7th – Idaho Gives Grand Finale – Drawn randomly every hour on May 7th from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. MT
  • Leaderboard – Awarded to the top 10 organizations in our category based on the most unique donors at the end of Idaho Gives.

Visit our Idaho Gives site here to make your donation starting April 23rd or to get info about our other activities.

More details and reminders to come via email and social media so mark your calendar now and check this page for more updates.

We hope you all are well during this crisis. Stay Positive, Stay Clean, Stay Safe!

Idaho Gives – Will You? 

WDSD 2020

Posted by on Mar 1, 2020 in Outreach & Awareness | 0 comments

5072646_orig-1024x378
World-Down-Syndrome-Day-Feature

TVDSA VIRTUAL World Down Syndrome Day 2020

Saturday, March 21
2:00–4:00 pm

Join TVDSA online and Rock Your Socks Off!

Unfortunately our annual event previously scheduled at BSU has been canceled but we will still celebrate virtually online!

Join us online, socialize, watch some uplifting videos and share your comments, pictures and videos this year as we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day!. Don’t forget to wear your crazy socks all day to support our loved ones with Down syndrome!

You can find us online at:
Facebook –
http://www.facebook.com/tvdsa
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/tvdsa_insta/
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/tvdsa

 

Please help up spread awareness – post and share via social media with the following tags:

#TVDSA
#WDSD20
#WhatIBringToMyCommunity
#morealikethandifferent
#Rockthe21
#LOTSOFSOCKS

We will also be having a giveaway that runs all day on 3/21!

 TVDSA WDSD Crazy Sock Giveaway

A total of 6 – $25 e-gift certificates will be given away to participants from John's Crazy Socks (https://johnscrazysocks.com/) to those who participate in the contest. 
This contest will run all day on 3/21, World Down Syndrome Day!  Please read the instructions carefully to take full advantage and participate effectively. 

During the TVDSA WDSD Facebook Watch Party

  • During our virtual WDSD Facebook Watch Party, TVDSA will give away 3 – $25 gift certificates between the times of 2pm and 4pm.  
  • Participants that post on Facebook with the hashtag #TVDSARocksTheSocks DURING THE WATCH PARTY will be placed in a random drawing at 2:30pm, 3:00pm and 3:30pm. 
  • Winners to be announced during the event on Facebook.  

All Day WDSD

  • During the entire day of 3/21, World Down Syndrome Day, TVDSA will give away 3 – $25 gift certificates between the times of 12:01 am to 2pm and 4pm to 12 midnight.  
  • Participants that post on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter sites with the hashtag  #TVDSARocksTheSocks DURING THE TIMES NOTED will be placed in a random drawing at 12 NOON, 6:00pm and 12:01am.  
  • Winners will be announced on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter once the winner is determined for each time segment.
     

General Rules

  • Drawing is done by random selection of all qualifying entries made during the designated time slots. Be sure to participate all day long!
  • Winners will be announced as soon as possible after the close of each time slot.
  • Multiple entries are allowed but all entries MUST include the hashtag  #TVDSARocksTheSocks
  • It is possible for a participant to win in multiple time slots.  All winner selections made by TVDSA are final.
  • Winners will receive an e-gift certificate code sent to a confirmed email address.

WDSD Info

Why 21 March? The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. 

History of WDSD 

WDSD was first observed in 2006 in many countries around the world and Down Syndrome Association Singapore launched and hosted the WDSD website from 2006-2010, on behalf of DSi, for global activities to be recorded. On 19 December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day. The General Assembly decided to "designate 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day, to be observed every year beginning in 2012" and "invites all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Down Syndrome Day in an appropriate manner, in order to raise public awareness of Down syndrome".

Information courtesy Down Syndrome International from the worlddownsyndromeday.org site

2019 Giving Tuesday

Posted by on Nov 25, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

#GT Heart

Giving Tuesday – 12/03/2019

This December 3rd is #GivingTuesday. This year we are fundraising to raise awareness and support our programs.

Mark your calendar and help us reach our $5000 goal.

Your donations could be used within TVDSA in the following ways:

  • $10 to $20 could add a book to our Library
  • $50 could supply a new parent with an informational basket
  • $100 could sponsor an individual to a local conference
  • $250 could support a program event for 10 participants
  • $500 could provide a sponsorship for a family to an out of town conference

You can also contribute to the organization at any amount.  Donate online to support TVDSA for Giving Tuesday on 12/03/2019.





 

2019 Albertsons Boise Open

Posted by on Jul 29, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Bopen

TVDSA Golf Fans!
We are sorry we had to cancel the golf event this year and plan to resume the TVDSA Trisomy 21 Open tournament in 2020 but never fear we have another opportunity to get your golf fix and support TVDSA in the process.   The 2019 Albertsons Boise Open will be held From August 19th to the 25th and is offering an opportunity for everyone to purchase tickets for access for golf food and fun for the 22nd to the 25th, including a free concert with country star Justin Moore on the 24th.  The Albertsons Boise Open is generously donating 100% of all tickets sales back to the designated charity of choice so use the link below to purchase tickets to a great event and also support TVDSA.   https://www.festivalticketing.com/cart/B366567D-62B7-487D-80C7-B1A49ED6E366/home  Anyone that wishes to sponsor a group to attend can contact us at golf@idahodownsyndrome.org to arrange this or if you have any questions. See you next year on the green!

The Peanut Butter Falcon

Posted by on Jul 29, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

220px-The_Peanut_Butter_Falcon_poster

The Peanut Butter Falcon
Attention all movie fans! This is one you can not miss.   This must-see indie film stars Zack Gottsagen, an accomplished actor who happens to have Down syndrome, multi-talented Shia LaBeouf, and award-winning Dakota Johnson. This movie was the winner of the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival and will be premiering in limited release on August 9th.  We have not been able to confirm this yet but it is rumored that Boise is one of the cities selected for this honor. If that does not happen then we should have it available locally during the nationwide release on August 23rd – cross your fingers!  We will keep you updated and plan to host an outing once we determine additional details.  Mark your calendars and plan a night out for some fun.  Check out the movie trailer and details at https://www.thepeanutbutterfalconmovie.com/ See you at the movies!

2019 TVDSA Buddy Walk

Posted by on Jul 9, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

buddywalk_logo_md

Join us for the 17th Annual TVDSA Buddy Walk

Saturday, October 12, 11:00 am
Walk begins at Cecil D. Andrus Capitol Park
Registration begins July 1, 2019

TVDSA Members with Down syndrome can register for FREE!
​Please email: registration@idahodownsyndrome.org for the coupon code for TVDSA members!

Click here to register now

The Buddy Walk is a great opportunity for those of us who love someone with Down syndrome to share our feelings with everyone we know! Yes, the walk is the biggest fundraiser of the year for TVDSA, but it’s also a vehicle for creating community awareness. And, if you have ever been to the Buddy Walk before, you know it’s a CELEBRATION! The atmosphere is fun, energetic, and joyous, and that’s because we’re so excited to tell the community what these individuals with Down syndrome mean to us. All are welcome to attend!You can register to walk alone, with your team of family or friends, or create your own team and raise funds to support the work of the TVDSA. The fun begins at Cecil D. Andrus Park, follows an easily walkable route through beautiful downtown Boise, then ends back at Cecil D. Andrus Park where we will have raffle prizes, bounce houses, live entertainment, dancing, food trucks and more! 

This is a family event, and out of respect for all our members, we have chosen to maintain an alcohol-free environment at the TVDSA Buddy Walk. Thank you for your cooperation.

Coffee and food vendors will be available at this year’s Buddy Walk and we encourage you to take advantage of the different types of food available for purchase.

When you support our Buddy Walk Vendors, you support TVDSA! We’ll add to the vendor list as the event draws near, but current vendors include:

  • Idaho Pizza Company
  • Bang on the Wall Burgers
  • Slow River Coffee (open before the walk)

If you wish to a pre-order a large order of food for your group, or have other questions about the Buddy Walk, contact us at buddywalk@idahodownsyndrome.org

MANY THANKS to all of our sponsors – We could not do this with out them!

2018 TVDSA Golf Tournament

Posted by on May 18, 2018 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

TVDSA Golf Tournament – 2018

The TVDSA Trisomy 21 Open is Saturday, July 21st


Tee it up logo - transparent

TVDSA will be hosting the 2018 TVDSA Golf Tournament at Eagle Hills Golf Course.  This is a fundraiser for TVDSA with the proceeds going to fund existing and future programs provided by TVDSA.  This will be a great time and for a great cause. Your participation is fundamental to our success!  Players need to be at least 14 years of age and all abilities welcome.

Players that have Down syndrome and are TVDSA members get FREE registration.

Even if you do not want to play, there will be numerous sponsorship opportunities. Many prizes will be available.

 

What: 2018 TVDSA Trisomy 21 Open

Where: Eagle Hills Golf Course – 605 N Edgewood Ln, Eagle, ID 83616

When: Saturday, July 21st 2018 – 9 AM Shotgun start – Check-in opens at 7 AM and range opens at 7:45 AM

Why: Fundraiser for TVDSA and to have lots of FUN!

Who: Anyone who likes to play golf

Cost: $85 per Player before June 27th for early registration. Late registration will be $100 per player – Includes Golf, Carts, Lunch and more. Register before June 27th to get the early price!

 

The tournament will be a scramble/Best Ball format. Go to the registration site for details on tournament fun and what you get for playing.  This is designed for fun and ease – if you can hold a club you can play.

Online registration is OPEN – Register or sponsor now.

 

If you would like to volunteer for this event you can sign up on our eventbrite site – 2018 TVDSA Trisomy 21 Open – Volunteer Registration

Come on out for some FUN and we hope to see you there!

 

Many Thanks to our Sponsors – We could not do it without you!!