collection of photos showing people in their enrichment fund activity

Inherent to the mission of the Centre Region Down Syndrome Society (CRDSS) is the goal of providing financial support for people who have Down syndrome so they are able to participate in activities and have appropriate and necessary equipment that improves their lives. Our Edward Scott Zdenek Enrichment Fund is ready to support families this season. Read more about this program and consider how we may help.

Program Details >

A Healthy Start

to the New Year

Two exciting programs offered by the YMCA to support our member's health:

Community Connections: A whole-life program creating an environment and organized activities to provide Social, Emotional, Physical, and Educational journeys & experiences.

Flyer with Details >

Healthy Habits: A free program to teach new skills to build healthy habits when eating, cooking, exercising, and goal setting. Expected start date is February 13, 2023.

More Information available >


...and LETS DANCE!

We are Pleased to Announce our

3-21 Celebration Dance is Back Live!

Join Us to Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day

Save the date of Tuesday, March 21st for this evening affair of dancing, a pizza dinner, fun activities, great door prizes and more. Details on the event location, evening timing, and RSVP form coming soon.

In the meantime, enjoy our 2022 Virtual Event >

World Down Syndrome Day >

National Down Syndrome Congress

51st Annual Convention

Orlando, Florida ~ July 20-23, 2023

In 2010, CRDSS awarded the Brownson family financial support to attend the 38th annual National Down Syndrome Congress being held in Orlando, Florida. (The event moves around the country.) CRDSS is once again offering financial support to our members to attend the 51st annual event, being held in Orlando Florida in July 2023. The application process for financial support will soon be made available to members in a follow up communication. Read the Brownson family testimony below on the value of this event and consider applying for this support next month!

Our Stories, a place to share

Above: The Brownson family at the recent Buddy Walk, October 2022

'A Transformative Time'

Attending the National Down Syndrome Congress in 2010 was an extraordinary experience for our family. The sense of community and camaraderie was powerful, with thousands of people we didn’t yet know but many of whom we would forge easy friendships and have meaningful conversations with by the event’s end. When you are the parent of a child with Down syndrome, you get used to people staring at you and your child everywhere that you go. You can feel ‘othered’. But there we felt none of that – we felt just like everybody else....

Read the full article here >

"Our Stories" will share essays, accounts, experiences, reflections and more. We invite our community to submit an entry to

More Learning Opportunity:

NDSS Down Syndrome Advocacy Conference

Washington DC ~ April 17-19, 2023

This two-day event will bring our community together to advocate for legislative priorities that impact the Down syndrome community. Attendees will have the opportunity to take part in advocacy training, learn more about legislative priorities and hear from leading speakers in our field. The conference culminates with the opportunity to advocate to Members of Congress on Capitol Hill!

CRDSS is offering financial assistance to those interested in attending. Reply to this E-News with your interest and we will be in contact.

Conference Details >

Check Out

Our New Calendar!

In an effort to keep everyone informed of our events, meetings and programs, we have added a new calendar feature to our website. Check it out, subscribe, and come back often. We're just getting started, and invite members to help populate the Calendar with activities and events important to our community. To submit an event to include on the CRDSS online calendar, reply to this E-News.

CRDSS Calendar >

graphic of the online calendar
Laura Thorne photo

In Memory

Laura Ann Thorne

1978 - 2023

Laura Thorne was a heroic champion for so many families in central Pennsylvania, and the years she devoted to CRDSS were incredibly valuable and deeply appreciated. Serving on the board of directors and holding an office, she held our mission in the highest regard and volunteered endlessly at our events and programs. Her infectious personality always inspired those around her, magnifying her individual contribution.

It was easy to love Laura’s enthusiasm, no matter what the topic. Always willing to share insight, lend a hand, and assume leadership, CRDSS is stronger today due to the passion and commitment Laura shared with our community. We are filled with gratitude for the riches Laura brought our work and lives. Thank you, Laura. Rest in peace.

Obituary >

Thank You CRDSS Sponsors

Your Annual Support Makes an Impact!

Boyles Insurance ~ Christine Bouley, Coldwell Banker Town & Country ~ Collegiate Pride ~

Geisinger ~ Ian Smith Painting ~ Jersey Mike's ~ Keystone Payroll ~ Lotsa Laffs ~

Dr. Marla Moon & Heimer, Fiore, Turco Eye Care ~ Northwest Bank ~ Pediatric Dental Care ~

Reliance Bank ~ RE/MAX Centre Realty ~ Restek ~ SAS Geospatial LLC ~ The Sign Factory ~

Skills of Central Pennsylvania ~ Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak ~ Strawberry Fields ~ Truist Bank

Details on how to join these supporters >

Support CRDSS Now!

Centre Region Down Syndrome Society is a vibrant, hands-on organization

that provides individuals who have Down syndrome and their families

the tools, resources, and support necessary to participate in, contribute to,

and achieve personal health and fulfillment.

Centre Region Down Syndrome Society

Lauren Smith, Executive Director