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  • September 14 - Club 321 (middle and high school)
  • September 15 - Mom's Night Out
  • September 19 - T21 Social Network (18+)
  • September 23 - Family Skate Night & APD Sign Up
  • September 28 - Field Day at Windermere Prep
  • September 29 - Play Date at MyGym (Maitland)


  • October 5 - 10th Anniversary Celebration & Down Syndrome Awareness Month Party
  • October 8 - Tour of Champions: Bowling Committee Meeting
  • October 10 - Normie: Movie Screening
  • October 12 - iCan! Programs at UCF
  • October 13 - Club 321 (middle and high school)
  • October 22 - Mom's Night Out
  • October 26 - iCan! Programs at UCF


  • November 1-3 - Camping Jamboree
  • November 9 - Adult Down Syndrome Clinic
  • November 16 - iCan! Programs at UCF


  • December 13 - Winter Wonderland Party: It's a Wonderful Life

January 2020

  • January 18 - iCan! Programs at UCF

February 2020

  • February 16 - 10th Annual Tour of Champions Bowl-A-Thon
  • February 22 - iCan! Programs at UCF
  • February 29 - iCan! Programs at UCF

Don't want to miss out on our events?
Click  here !
We're kicking off our one and ONLY fundraiser for the year!!


Sunday, February 16, 2020
1:30pm - 4:00pm

Boardwalk Bowl Entertainment Center 
10749 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32817

We have been busy planning the 2020 Tour of Champions Bowl-A-Thon! It is time for you to start putting your team together and get registered. This event has sold out every year so do not miss your chance to secure a lane!
Over the past 10 years The FOUNDATION has relied on ONE fundraiser each year to support the majority of the scholarships and programs provided to our members.

 It is hard to believe that ONE day of bowling and fun can provide over $150,000 in scholarships to our members! 

We would like to invite ALL of our members to participate in our 10th anniversary edition of the TOUR OF CHAMPIONS BOWL-A-THON. 

As our membership continues to grow, so does the need for scholarships, programs, and events. We strive to offer the same level of opportunity, advocacy, and support that we have for almost ten years.

How can you help? Your assistance with this event allows us to expand the understanding and practice of inclusion in our communities and provide new opportunities for your loved ones for the entire year.

Ways you can contribute:

  •  Create a team
  •  Help recruit fundraisers and teams from your place of employment, family, friends
  •  Request your company to become a corporate sponsor
  •  Ask a business you frequent for a gift certificate or a in-kind donation for the auction
  •  Make a gift basket as a door prize
We would like to thank  Boardwalk Bowl Entertainment Center  for hosting this event again this year. This annual fundraiser is one of our favorite events and provides a year's worth of incredible benefits to you and our community.
If you needed any other reason to register your Tour of Champions team.....

All teams registered before the Down Syndrome Awareness and Bowl-A-Thon kick off party on October 5th will receive 2 complimentary tickets to our movie screening of Normie on October 10th. PLUS!! PRIZES WILL BE DRAWN FOR TEAMS WHO HAVE REGISTERED and for teams with $200 or more!

After you register your team, send an email to for instructions to claim your 2 free tickets! We are giving our members the opportunity to register their teams before we open movie screening ticket sales up to the public. There are a limited number of tickets and they will be first come, first serve!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

7:00pm to 9:30pm

Regal Winter Park Village & RPX 
510 Orlando Ave
Winter Park FL 32789

What: The Down Syndrome FOUNDATION of Florida is hosting a movie screening!
Endearing, inspiring and sometimes heartbreaking, Normie follows Annemarie, a young millennial woman as she seeks independence and intimacy, while grappling with the illusion of normal and the realities of living with Down syndrome. This film will challenge viewers to consider what it truly means to be limited, flawed, and broken and ask themselves–What is normal?

Watch the trailer below!!
10 years!
Celebrating 10 years of rewriting the story of Down syndrome
It all started when a small group of four highly motivated and committed parents decided to lay the cornerstone of this endeavor designed to build inclusion, opportunity and change just ten years ago. The idea was a small summer scholarship program. Today we have grown to thousands of individuals who contribute their unique gifts and abilities to continue to build upon the hope that individuals with Down syndrome will be seen as ''More Alike Than Different" and strive to instill this belief in our local communities through our outreach and programs. 
"There was a time when people like me were institutionalized. When I was born, the doctor predicted that I would be lucky to be able to tie my own shoes or write my own name - he forgot to mention the part about me swimming the English Channel". - Karen Gaffney
Click here to hear Karen Gaffney's story
Just like Karen Gaffney, our members have also gone above and beyond! We would like to share your story as we celebrate our 10th anniversary.

How has The FOUNDATION helped rewrite your story?
Use our hashtag #IamTheFOUNDATION on social media or send us your story via  email .
Club 321 (middle and high school)
Date : Saturday, September 14
Time : 1:00pm - 3:15pm

Location : Drop Off - Victory Martial Arts Victory Martial Arts
2175 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792
Pick Up - Mellow Mushroom
2015 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL 32792

What : Our middle and high school group will be meeting at Victory Martial Arts and walking to Mellow Mushroom for lunch after!
Cost : This event is free!

Life skills, leadership, socialization, bully prevention, building community and working on physical fitness consistently develops strong habits that lead to making better choices. For many teens, controlling their emotions in social situations is a challenge. Martial arts helps teens improve their self-control by teaching control of the body. Mindfulness and emotional regulation are vital skills that teens can carry with them into their adult life, helping them to manipulate their thoughts and emotions more effectively.
Mom's Night Out
Sunday, September 15

Time: 6:00pm - 8:30pm

St Johns River Steak & Seafood – Sanford, FL
550 N Palmetto Ave, Sanford, FL 32771

Cost: The FOUNDATION will put $15 towards your cost. You just pay the difference!

On September 15th, we'll be getting together at St Johns River Steak & Seafood – Sanford, FL. After dinner, we'll take a stroll to Wondermade (think delicious marshmallows) for dessert! Come meet some other mommas in the community - we can't wait for you to join us!
This event is sponsored by: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Tampa.
Why do we need a night out?
According to one news source , a 2017 survey conducted by Welch’s (yes, the grape juice company) found out some not-so-surprising news: moms work a long day.
In a survey of 2,000 American mothers with kids ranging in age between 5 and 12 years old, they found the average mom:
·        starts the day at 6:23 AM and clocks out at 8:31 PM,
·        works 14 hours a day and 100 hours per week,
·        puts in the equivalent to two and a half full-time jobs.
Conclusion ? It's hard work! As moms, our help and support is in constant demand … but you can’t constantly give when your own cup is running dry. We would like to help FILL UP YOUR CUP!

Join us for our monthly outing to share your evening with beloved friends and connect with new ones within the community.
T21 Social Network (18+)
Date : Thursday, September 19

Time : 5:45pm - 8:00pm

Location : iFLY Orlando 8969 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819 

What : All Abilities Night at iFLY Orlando is a unique event that makes the dream of flight a reality for those in the special needs community. This program has been custom designed to create an environment of support and inclusion, while focusing on making what seems impossible, possible. Each ticket includes all flight training, gear rental and access to the All Abilities Event Mixer! Private space, snacks and soft drinks will be provided for all attendees.

This is a drop off event, but we will send home a video of the participants!

This program is for members 18+ and will give them the opportunity to gain independence, make their own transactions and decisions, socialize, and make new friends and memories! This program will host monthly drop-off events where participants will have the chance to experience fun outings in an independent but safe environment

Cost: $21 (Total cost is $42. The FOUNDATION will cover the other $21)
Inclusion: Windermere Prep Field Day
Windermere Prep is hosting a field day! Two Windermere Prep students with a vision for an inclusive event have planned a fun day for the community!

Participants will get to experience 5 game stations and hang out with members of the Windermere community. Snacks and drinks will be provided! The activity is NOT just for individuals with Down syndrome, siblings, and friends are encouraged to join in the fun! Parents are welcome to hang out at the gym or drop their child(ren) off. Ages 5 -high school age.

Date : Saturday, September 28th
Location : Address: 6189 Winter Garden Vineland Rd, Windermere, FL 34786
Time : Shift 1 (1:00pm - 2:30pm) or Shift 2 (3:00pm-4:30pm)

This event is FREE !
Family Skate Night & APD Sign Up
Monday, September 23rd

Astro Skate
866 S Goldenrod Rd
Orlando, FL 32822


The Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida invites you to bring your entire family and join us for a FREE family night at Astro Skate ! Come join us for some fun and get informed about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) and ABLE United !
If your child is 3 or older and is not enrolled with APD, this is an event you don't want to miss! We will provide dinner (pizza) and volunteers will be on-hand to help anybody who doesn't know how to skate as well as help while mom and/or dad fill out papers for APD and open an ABLE Account. Even if you are already signed up with APD or have an ABLE Account, we hope you will come out and join us for some fun! You and/or your loved ones do not have to have any experience skating. Part of the purpose is to give our loved ones an opportunity to learn.

"WHAT IF MY CHILD IS TOO YOUNG OR JUST WON'T TRY?" That's OK! Come anyway! It's also a pizza party with great music for dancing....and almost everyone dances! 

Thanks to changes made during the 2011 Legislative Session, beginning July 1, 2011, it became easier for individuals with Down syndrome in the state of Florida to apply for services through APD. Prior to this, persons with Down syndrome were required to take an IQ test before they could get on the wait list. Thanks to the Florida Legislature, people with DS automatically qualify to be on the wait list without the additional testing.

It is our hope that our members will better understand what APD offers and that we can help facilitate the enrollment process. We are looking forward to seeing you Monday, September 23rd!!

If you don't know why either of these are important to you, you may also review the APD link: and the Able link:


If your son/daughter is 3 or older and is not yet registered with APD then please complete the attached application ahead of time. APD also requires the following documents:
  • Copy of chromosome report and/or genetic testing before age of 18.  
  • Copy of individual's birth certificate
  • Copy of individual's social security card
  • Proof of residency (utility bill, Florida ID, applicant school ID) must show name and current address and match address on application
  • Copy of legal/court ordered guardianship if applicable
  • If there is no chromosome report available, medical records with diagnosis code and description are needed to determine eligibility

Please bring original documents AND copies that you can leave for your file.
Play Date
September 29th
5:30pm - 7:00pm
MyGym Maitland
473 Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL 32751

Age limit: 0-5 years old. Limited spaces available! Please email Erin at  to confirm your spot.
Calling all volunteers!
Come volunteer with us in a fast paced fun environment and help make a difference. By volunteering to work during the games or concerts as a server's assistant, volunteers will be helping The FOUNDATION raise money to support our iCan Work! program while raising awareness about our organization!
Please see the volunteering opportunities below:
Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Don't miss out on the
Down Syndrome Awareness Month and 2020 Tour of Champions Kick Off Party!!

Date : Saturday October 5th, 2019
Time : 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Location :
Winter Park Community Center
721 W New England Ave
Winter Park, FL 32789

This is a fun night to simply say,  "We love our members and all of our amazing CHAMPIONS that have designer genes!"  as we celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Don't miss the fun festivities: non-stop dancing, great food and fabulous friendships.

Our EARLY BIRD Bowling Teams will be entered into our drawing that will go on throughout the night! Register before or at the party and you will be eligible for fun prizes!

You don't have to be registered to bowl to come and have a great time. This event is FREE and open to all members and their immediate families.
Camping registration is OPEN

The deadline for camping at Jetty Park is approaching fast. October 21st is the last day to sign up for our Annual Camping Jamboree. So if you're planning to join us, sign up now to secure your spot. If you don't have a tent, no worries! The FOUNDATION has a set of tents just for this event so families who are interested in giving the outdoor life a try can borrow a tent for the weekend. Please let us know when registering that you'll need one. 
  Not only can you enjoy one of Central Florida's beautiful beaches, the park has many amenities including a HUGE playground, sand volleyball, fishing from the pier, sport equipment rentals such as boogie boards, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards and you can enjoy waving good-bye to the passengers on the cruise ships as they leave Cape Canaveral.
Where : Jetty Park Campground - 9035 Campground Cir.
Cape Canaveral, FL 32920
When : November 1st - 3rd

This weekend is one of the most anticipated events of the year! The FOUNDATION started camping with our members 8 years ago, not only because we enjoy camping and spending time with our members, but also because it is a GREAT way to spend time with friends and family. We go to Jetty Park (where the cruise ships go out to sea), provide tents (or you can bring your own), breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, and dinner on Saturday night. We rent beach chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards and kayaks and have a BLAST. This a great way for us to spend the day together at the beach while teaching your loved one (or maybe YOU) to enjoy the outdoors. To learn more about what this event entails and to register, visit our website!

Registration Deadline: 

• October 11, 2019 to receive a t-shirt;
• October 21, 2019 last day to register.

 Cost : $25 per family to camp or $10 per family for Saturday cookout. Payment due at time of registration.

*Scholarships are available . C on tact for more information.

Adult Down Syndrome Clinic
Join us Saturday, November 9, 2019 for our Adult Down Syndrome Clinic.  
WHO: Individuals with Down syndrome age 17 - 35.
WHAT: Free medical screening
WHERE: Howard Phillips Center
        601 W. Michigan Street
        Orlando, FL 32805
WHEN: Saturday, November 9, 2019
Clinic hours: 9:00am - 12:30pm
Limited amount of appointments available.  

Providers available for consultation include an endocrinologist, dietitian, dentist, gynecologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, and  neuropsychologist.  Information on community resources will also be available. All participants will have a hearing evaluation by an audiologist. 
Bowl-A-Thon Committee members needed!

We are looking for Bowl-a-thon Committee Members. If you would like to be part of the team which puts on our ONLY FUNDRAISER for the year, please email

It is a short-term commitment that only requires a few hours a month between now and our Bowl-a-thon.

Our next meeting will be at Boardwalk Bowl on October 8th at 6pm.

 We are raising the bar to $321,000 for our 10th anniversary and need GREAT team to help us make it the best year yet!
Technology Tip and Tricks
For students with unique abilities, assistive technology provides adaptations that make accessing curriculum goals and completing tasks easier. This type of technology allows students to complete assignments quicker than if they had tried the tasks on their own.  Other benefits  include:

  • Giving students control of their learning
  • Promoting success rather than focusing on failure
  • Offering individualized adaptability
  • Providing control over pace and number of tasks
  • Encouraging both verbal and nonverbal responses

Welcome Emily!
Emily Rhodes - Born and raised in Central Florida, she grew up in Wauchula and moved to Orlando in 2016 to attend school at the University of Central Florida. Currently, Emily is earning her degree in Entertainment Management at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management and is focusing on a career in theme park management. After completing her Bachelor's Degree, she plans to continue her education and pursue a Master's Degree in Hospitality. Volunteering for a couple of iCan events at UCF ignited her excitement and passion for the mission of The FOUNDATION. In her hometown, Emily often volunteered her time for both children and adults with special needs, helping host a variety of swim lessons, skill building events, and annual social events for those in her community. She is excited to join the team and serve as the new Event Intern for the Fall!

In her spare time, Emily enjoys visiting the Disney Theme Parks, going home to see her family, and spending quality time with her boyfriend (Tyler), and their two dogs (a Pit Bull named Sugar Bear and a Boston Terrier named Bailey).
Let's get social!
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and to stay updated on our upcoming events!