In the past Down Syndrome SA held corporate gala balls with the main fundraising goal to support the organisations’ programs. CEO Maureen Lawlor and events coordinator Jade Erlandsen decided to flip this event on its head in 2015, creating a Gala Ball for the people it supports.
“People with Down syndrome are central to everything we do, and this event would reflect our person-centred philosophy. Establishing a Gala Ball specifically for people with intellectual disabilities with all the additional support it requires, we are fulfilling our vision to create an inclusive South Australia where every individual with Down syndrome is given an equal chance to learn, grow and thrive.
We have a record crowd of 170 guests attending the ball tomorrow! 170 very happy people who don’t get opportunities to get dressed up and attend formal events with their friends.
The magnitude of this event can be felt from these stories:
Travis’s dad wore his fathers cuff-links to his wedding. He never expected to hand them down to his son with Down syndrome. Tomorrow, Travis will his grandfathers’ cuff-links to the ‘Night to Remember’ Gala Ball!
Sarah’s mum handmade a beautiful dress for Sarah to wear on a special occasion before she passed away. In 2015, Sarah wore this dress at the ‘Night to Remember’ Gala Ball. She looked fabulous and we know her mum would have been proud.”
Head to the Down Syndrome SA campaign page to learn more!