Why we Step Up – 11 years and counting

Christy Klaus is our organization’s Family Support Coordinator, but her biggest role in life is as mom to her kids, including her awesome daughter Olivia, who has Down syndrome. The Klaus family has a long-standing relationship with our annual awareness walk, Step Up for Down Syndrome, dating back to years before Christy joined the DSAGSL to help serve other families. Why does she still organize a team of Livi Lovers every year? she took a minute to tell us in the blog this week:

“It’s that time of year – time to Step Up for Down Syndrome!”

Olivia at the 2008 SUDS walk – formerly known as the Buddy Walk

This is how my team e-mail and letters start every year – Step Up for Down Syndrome has become a tradition for our family.  We form a team and ask our family and friends to support our daughter, Olivia, by walking with us and/or making a donation to the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis.  This year is the 11th year for our team.

Why do we do this?  I remember the first walk we went to, back in 2003.  Olivia was only one year old.  There were so many people there with their families. I never knew how many people in the St. Louis area had someone with Down syndrome in their lives.  It was amazing, comforting and it made me feel proud to be part of this community.

Every year after that, we sent out a letter giving our family and friends an update on Olivia and all great things she was doing.  It was our own personal awareness mission.  We also believe in the mission of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis and our family and friends were happy to support a great organization.  Over the years the Livi Lovers have raised close to $10,000.  We have enjoyed the walks, activities and of course the baseball game for Walk in the Park.  Olivia finally made it onto the field last year – an experience we will never forget!

Considering starting a team of your own? Start your family tradition this year!  You won’t regret it!