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WKBW 7 News Buffalo

Businesses, community members light up WNY for World Down Syndrome Day

By James Kattato,


Being a light in someone's life doesn't come in a forced way. You're a light because of the impact you have on someone. At GiGi's Playhouse, Executive Director Emily Mondschein is impacted by plenty of lights in her life everyday.

"I have met so many amazing individuals with Down Syndrome that I didn't know about," Mondschein said.

Tuesday, March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day , and Gigi's is once again partnering with Buffalo LIT to help spread Down Syndrome Awareness in the Buffalo community. Over 25 buildings and businesses across the city will illuminate in blue and yellow, the colors for Down Syndrome Awareness.

But it's running deeper than just working with the city. It's an entire community involvement. Over hundreds of light bulbs and signs were passed out to whoever wanted to spread awareness. The bulbs were blue and yellow, and the signs said "Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day - 3/21 - #WDSD"

In a matter of weeks, pretty much all the signs and light bulbs have been given away.

"People outside of the Down Syndrome community. Schools reaching out, businesses reaching out... It's become a whole community celebration and that's amazing to see," Mondschein said.

In our conversation, I found out her own son, Paul, is part of this amazing community.

"My blinders have been lifted to a lot of things around me that I was blind to before I had my son... We're blessed by him," Mondschein said.

Paul is a lover. Like everyone at GiGi's, he's always good for a smile, and through all the awareness that's being spread, that's Mondschein's message. Highlight the good of this community. Remember the strengths, and celebrate, instead of focusing on the areas of 'lack.'

"Hearing their stories, seeing their talent, spending time with them. They keep you present and they make you laugh. They make you realize what's important in life," Mondschein said.

To learn more about GiGi's Playhouse, click here .

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