The good times were rolling at the National Down Syndrome Society's (NDSS) 30th Annual Gala! The charity event was set to the tune of a swinging live band at the B.B. King Jazz Club, right in the heart of Times Square. Cocktails mixed as people mingled and made their entrances to the venue. Some of the featured guests and honorees included ABC news network, Geraldo Rivera, actor Chris Burke, and most of the 60 models used for the rocking photoshoot. Pictures from the shoot were turned into replicas of 80's era album cover posters and covers to Rolling Stone-esque booklets for theevent. Cocktail hour and dinner were followed by a live auction that was enthusiastically led by C.K. Swett, who did a wonderful job at pumping up the crowd and helping raise around $300,000! It was truly a night worth celebrating. While there, VNYCMAG got an exclusive chance to sit down with NDSS President, Sara Hart Weir, to talk about the future of the organization.
Ms. Weir was recentlyon a trip to Saudi Arabia to meet with the leadership of Saut, their down syndrome organization. While there, the two organizations launched an international partnership with big goals in mind. This "Voice for Down syndrome" alliance hopes to help spread more down syndrome awareness throughout not only the middle east, but globally as well. There's currently talks in the works for an international conference, set to be held later this coming year. Back on our home front, NDSS put their own hash tag to work: #DSWORKS™. The tag stands for Down syndrome works - with a simple goal in mind - to break down barriers to employment and create more jobs for individuals with Down syndrome. The Down syndrome community is no doubt a motivated and diligent one, that's the attention they want to bring to the legislative agenda to create corporate and small business partnerships for members of the community. With so much to look forward to, it's no wonder why the theme of this year's gala was "let the good times roll"! So far, 2016 has started off swinging for NDSS and all involved! If you would like to help keep the momentum going and donate or raise awareness, head to the NDSS website, www.ndss.org!