A nonprofit Indianapolis Down syndrome achievement center wants to raise $60,000 this year during its seventh annual 3.21-mile run event planned for Sept. 10 at Forest Park in Noblesville.
The event will begin with open registration at 2 p.m. with a Kids Dash for Down syndrome beginning at 4 p.m., followed by the 3.21-mile run and a 1-mile inspirational walk.
“This will be the first time we’ve been able to host this event in person since the pandemic,” said Denisse Jensen, executive director of GiGi’s Playhouse Indianapolis. “It will be so exciting to celebrate together in person once again and raise funds for the playhouse.”
The event supports the continued growth of GiGi’s Indianapolis location and the 572 participants that benefit from free therapeutic, educational, wellness and career programs it offers.
“Like many not-for-profits, the past couple of years have been a challenge financially,” Jensen said. “Down syndrome is the largest chromosomal disability in our country and yet, it’s the least funded. This run is critical in helping us expand our programs and reach more people with Down syndrome.”
A 10-year-old Fishers resident, Kinley Palmer, will be this year’s youth honoree at the event, while a 25-year-old Zionsville resident, David Harshbarger, is the adult honoree. Palmer, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome moments after she was born, has participated in GiGi’s tutoring, reading, math and kindergarten prep classes, as well as GiGi’s fit and art explosion.
“She loves climbing the rock wall and hanging out with the other kids,” Palmer’s mother, Maria, said. “Thanks to GiGi’s, her social skills are off the charts.”
Maria Palmer also said the best part about the nonprofit is its volunteers and parent support system.
“It’s been remarkable for our family to have this free service. We’ve developed lifelong friendships with families just like ours,” she said.
Registration is $40 through race day with the cost for children ages 12 and under being $15. All individuals who are registered will receive a T-shirt and medal.
To register or to learn more about the event, visit support.gigisplayhouse.org/gigifit-acceptance-challenge-2022/event/indianapolis-in.