Nominate an Outstanding Volunteer

Do you know a loyal DSAGSL volunteer who regularly goes above and beyond their duties? Nominate them for a 2015 Outstanding Volunteer Award!

Are you a devoted DSAGSL volunteer yourself? Self-nominations are allowed!

Please send completed forms to by August 31. Honorees will be recognized at the Talent Show on October 9. (Note: Current Board of Directors members are not eligible.)

Click here to download the form and nominate an Outstanding Volunteer!


Dierbergs School of Cooking – by Megan Layton

I participated in the School of Cooking at Dierbergs on June 10. There was a great turnout, 14 people attended. Dierbergs has had the cooking class for eight years. The class was hosted by Sally and Dennis.

Sally and Dennis were very informative. They had awesome visual aids, cooking utensils and taught us how to use them by telling us and demonstrating.They were very prepared and very organized and seemed to know exactly how to simplify what they were doing to make it easier to learn.

It was temping to eat everything I made. All the cooking made me hungry!

We prepared and ate italian tomato bruschetta, fresh and light caesar salad, chicken spidini, green beans with crisp crumb topping and a side of cheddar au gratin potatoes. For dessert, we had red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Why Attend the Annual Meeting?

Letter from Jeremie Ballinger, Executive Director

Dear Friends:

We are a matter of days away from a DSAGSL tradition – our Annual Meeting.  The meeting will take place on Wednesday, July 22 at our office.  We’re happy to provide food beginning at 6:00pm, with the meeting itself to start at 6:30pm.  Hopefully you have seen a postcard or a social media mention about this event and plan to attend.

Except, you may have one small question before you decide to join us: WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THE ANNUAL MEETING, AND WHY DO I NEED TO BE THERE?

Good question.

We accomplish several things at our annual meeting:

1. We provide you with a recap of what we have accomplished over the past year.  This year will be especially fun, in that we have just completed one of our most successful years ever and have the numbers and the awards to prove it!

2. We will also give you a glimpse into the coming year – what we have planned, and how we intend to grow and serve you better.

3. This year, we will also welcome Dr. Michael Harpold from the Lumind Down Syndrome Research Foundation to share some of the latest news regarding cognition research.  Like DSAGSL, Lumind has had a very eventful year and we look forward to learning more about their work.

4. We will also present to everyone in attendance our proposed Board of Directors for 2015-16, including board leadership.  This requires a vote of our membership – which includes you!

Finally, and most importantly, this meeting is required in DSAGSL’s bylaws.  We are an organization made up of many members, and each of you have the right to know what has been done, what will be done, and also to have a voice in issues such as our leadership.

If you have any other questions about our past year, what we hope to accomplish next, or anything else related to DSAGSL and how we operate, please call or send me an email.  If you would like to attend the annual meeting, please RSVP to us at or 314.961.2504.  This is your organization, and we want to give you every opportunity to assist us in making sure we help people with Down syndrome reach their full potential.

We hope to see you next week at our annual meeting!

Meet Haley – by Haley Brightwell

Hello!  Haley Brightwell speaking, an Iowa native who loves sports, dogs, and helping people.  I am the Marketing Intern here at DSAGSL and I assist Emily with managing the social media channels associated with the organization.  I have recently taken an interest in the digital media realm of marketing and I wanted to apply that to an organization that truly helps others…so here I am!

I am currently on my way towards obtaining a Master of Business Administration from the University of Missouri – St. Louis where I also finished my undergraduate degree and played collegiate volleyball.  As I finish my Masters this coming academic year I will continue to work with the volleyball team as their Graduate Assistant Coach.  I am really excited for the new challenge and look forward to switching hats as I go from a player to a coach!

I hate to make another reference to hats but I am going to anyway, I wear many hats.  I like to add as many things into my schedule as possible…and then add one more.  I like staying busy, I like accomplishing goals, and I don’t like the feeling of wasting time.  It’s impossible to waste time if you don’t have any time to waste!  Ultimately this leads to chaos of course but chaos can be productive if it works for you.  Luckily, it works for me!

Like many many others, if you ask me what I want to do after I graduate I will immediately turn and sprint away.  No, just kidding, haha!  Do I know 100% what I want to do as a career? Nope, but I plan on having as many experiences as possible until I figure it out.  So that is what I plan to do for the next year and longer if I need to, I’ll try on bigger and bigger hats!