Down Syndrome Association of Tallahassee expands to Northwest Florida

TALLAHASSEE, FL – August 9, 2017 –The Down Syndrome Association of Tallahassee, DSAT, is spreading its wings.  DSAT is pleased to announce that it is officially expanding its service area to include the Northwest Florida Panhandle.  DSAT was created by Tallahassee parents in 2004 in an effort to provide support and education to families who had children with Down syndrome. The mission of DSAT is to provide education, support, and resources to individuals with Down syndrome, their families, professionals, and the community, while building public awareness and acceptance of the abilities of individuals with Down syndrome.

Over the last 13 years DSAT has grown to promote statewide public awareness of Down syndrome and to be a source of information and support to families in Florida’s Capital City, North Florida and South Georgia.  Over the course of the last year, DSAT has become more and more aware of the needs of families and individuals with Down syndrome beyond its traditional service area in Leon County and the immediately adjacent counties.  In order to continue to meet these families’ needs, DSAT is officially identifying its service area to include all of the Florida Panhandle.  Residents from as far west as Escambia County to as far east as Columbia County will be eligible for services.   Additionally, DSAT will continue to serve families from South Georgia.

With this expansion comes a new Buddy Walk!  In addition to hosting the Tallahassee Buddy Walk on October 28th, DSAT will partner with the Anchor Club of Walton High to host the Anchored Down with Love Buddy Walk in Defuniak Springs on October 14th.  Anchor Club Advisor Anna Cramer commented saying, “Buddy Walk is one of our favorite Anchor projects.  I am always so proud of the work my members put in to make the day fantastic. We are excited to join forces with an established organization, like DSAT, and we cannot wait to watch our Walk grow and reach more people in our community.”  The walk, held at Wee Care Park, is in its fifth year and growing quickly with the hard work and commitment of the Walton High Anchor Club.

“It is our hope that families throughout the Florida Panhandle will join together to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month at which ever walk is closest to them,” said DSAT President Amber Davis Williams. She continued, “These walks are an amazing time for our community to come together to raise awareness for Down syndrome and to celebrate individuals with Down syndrome.  Additionally, the Buddy Walks are critical fundraisers which raise funds to allow DSAT to continue providing much needed services and programs in the Panhandle of Florida through 2018.”

At each walk individuals with Down syndrome, families, friends and advocates will enjoy festivities and participate in the 1-mile advocacy walk to promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.  Funds raised help support local programs, as well as national education, research and advocacy efforts.

What does DSAT do? DSAT offers support to members through the promotion of acceptance through advocacy, education and awareness, while also helping to ensure that individuals with Down syndrome have the opportunity to realize their full-potential as members of the community.  DSAT offers programs ranging from $500 tutoring scholarships to weekly stipends for much needed therapies, as well as welcoming new families and providing support at the time of diagnosis. In addition, DSAT assists families in need during times of medical episodes, hosts educational and informational workshops, and sponsors social events allowing families to come together in a welcoming environment.

For more information about programs, services or either of the Buddy Walks, please visit www.DSATallhassee.com.  The Down Syndrome Association of Tallahassee, Inc. (“DSAT“) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, making all donations tax deductible.  DSAT President, Amber Davis Williams, can be reached at 850.514.3981 or by email at amber.davis@dsatallahasee.com.