Bay Area Step Up for Down Syndrome
October is national Down Syndrome Awareness Month! The DSCBA celebrates by holding our annual Bay Area Step Up for Down Syndrome (SUDS) Walk and Family Picnic. This event brings more than 1,500 people together to celebrate acceptance, respect and inclusion for all. The walk is not only one of our largest fundraisers of the year, it is also an amazing event where families and friends can enjoy spending the afternoon together. At the walk's finish line, we celebrate the accomplishments, big or small, of all the participants with Down syndrome. The fun-filled day is packed with activities for all ages including carnival games, face painting, music, dancing and more. A designated area is available where everyone can set up their blankets or tents and enjoy a picnic or buy lunch and ice cream from food trucks. There are also fun photo ops with Star Wars, Avengers and Disney characters. We hope you'll save the date--Sunday October 6, 2019 at Pleasant Hill Middle School, Pleasant Hill--and join us! More information will be available in July. Please check out the past events below.
Thank you to all who came out for the 20th Anniversary Bay Area Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk!! For more information on our goals, please visit: www.ds-stride.org/bayareastepup
To see photos from the 2018 SUDS Walk, click here.
Update from our 2017 Bay Area SUDS
Sunshine and smiles were abundant during the annual Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk & Family Picnic on October 8th at Pleasant Hill Middle School. A record 1,200 walkers enjoyed an afternoon of fun and entertainment after "stepping up" their fundraising efforts to raise our goal of $210,000.
Pleasant Hill Mayor, Michael Harris, welcomed everyone to the event and declared October 8th as Down Syndrome Awareness Day for the city of Pleasant Hill. The walk kicked off to the music from Las Lomas High School’s Pep Band, a cheer by Carondelet High School’s dance and cheer squad and an uplifting speech from special celebrity guest Megan Bomgaars from TV’s Born This Way. Megan also had a long line for autographs at her booth where she sold her "Don't Limit Me" t-shirts. DJ Joey provided the festive music which, of course, resulted in dancing later that afternoon!
Each team received a professionally printed team sign donated by Don Gardner of SPX Associates to carry along the walk. Key accomplishments were recognized for walkers with Down syndrome at the finish line, garnering cheers and applause from the sidelines. Huge thanks to our friends from the Golden Gate Garrison, 501st Legion and the Avengers who gave out medals and took pictures with our walkers.
Plenty of grassy areas made the perfect setting for family and team picnicking afterwards with food trucks, a coffee bar, and an ice cream stand. Attendees were treated to free carnival games, cotton candy, face painting and mini golf among other lawn games.
Special thanks to our gold sponsor Macy’s for their 5th year of sponsorship and to Scott Ferguson, Macy's District V.P., and Kia Panah for bringing their team to hand out prizes and gift cards. We are also very grateful to our other gold sponsors, John Muir Health and Fremont Bank Foundation, for their partnership this year.
We would like to acknowledge and thank all of our advertisers, donors and supporters: Eternal Water, Far West Sanitation, Recycling4Smiles, Pleasant Hill Orthodontics, Quest Foundation, SPK Associates, Vivas Banners, West Coast Avengers, Golden Gate Garrison 501st Legion and Taste of the World.
A big thank you to everyone who fundraised this year! 188 families created a fundraising page which resulted in over 2,000 generous people from around the world donating and making our goal of $210,000! Top fundraising honors go to the Peninsula Team with a record breaking $20,000; Nico Tom and Julie Tang individually brought in $7100 and $6600 respectively. The top 6 fundraising teams raised over $68,000 and include: Peninsula Team, Team Drucker, Team Leah, Dubh Nation, Team Friends and Glam Grace. The most team member award went to Team Drucker with over 200 members and the most creative t-shirt design went to Team Chromies. Julie Fuqua of Julia Fuqua photography and Lisa Upton of Lisa Upton Photography kindly donated their time and photography talent, taking many beautiful candid and team pictures.
Nearly 200 volunteers from Presbyterian Community Church, National Charity League – Walnut Creek, Diablo and Rolling Hills and Boys Team Charity – Walnut Creek, Lamorinda organizations helped staff the event and kept it running smoothly. There was a wonderful spirit of support and encouragement all day celebrating abilities and promoting acceptance. Thank you to the entire community who stepped up for Down syndrome. See you next year!
Update from our 2016 Bay Area SUDS
Thank you to all who joined us and fundraised for the 2016 Step Up Walk. Thanks to your efforts, over $181,000 was raised for the programs at the DSCBA. Over 1000 people attended the walk and enjoyed music, food trucks, carnival games and so much more.
The Step Up Walk is a great opportunity for the community to come together for an afternoon of fun and a walk! The Step Up Walk is also one of the two biggest fundraisers that supports the DSCBA programs throughout the year. We would love to have you participate and get your friends and family involved.