What you are saying about us.....
I was very excited to read about the DSAV's gifts to libraries. - Newton Falls, OH
We would not be where we are at now....without you guys - Mineral Ridge, OH
It is nice to see Down Syndrome donation dollars at work. Books, eduction, libraries - it's all good... - Columbiana, OH
I'm so grateful that you...started this wonderful group - Liberty, OH
I hear such good things about your organization - Warren, OH
... kudos to you for making such a mark on our community - Yougnstown, OH
The current newsletter looks FABULOUS!! - Howland, OH
You guys are doing a wonderful job - Austintown, OH
You saw a need and filled it... - Warren, OH
...it just moves me so much to watch everything that is/will be happening with this group and the people it is touching. -Warren, OH
We are looking forward to upcoming events and meetings. Wishing you much success in fulfilling the mission of the Down Syndrome Association of the Valley. - Warren, OH
...the website looks so nice. So many are so busy and hard to navigate-you did a great job. - Elk Grove, IL
Your website fills a definite need providing information and support for the people in your area. Great job!!! -Lebanon, CT
The Website is wonderful!!! -Youngstown, OH
That was a wonderful story on the news...Kudos to you and the organization! - Struthers, OH
What an awesome job you are doing. - Niles, OH
Your website looks great! -New York, NY
What a wonderful website! I'm so pleased that you have an association in your specific area. -Memphis, TN
CONGRATS ON A SUPER START!!!! -Warren, OH
I loved the web-site! -Hubbard, OH
Keep up the great work! - Columbus, OH
An excellent website. Well done!! -Warren, OH
I read the article and it was great! -Bristolville, OH
Well done... -Warren, OH
September 6, 2007
Down Syndrome Association holds members picnic
The Down Syndrome Association of the Valley held their member picnic on Sunday, August 19th at the Litco International picnic pavilion in Vienna.
Over 100 people attended the event which included lunch, "Candy the Clown" who face painted and made balloon animals, carnival-type games, a bounce-around castle for the kids and a member meeting.
The non-profit association has been formed to offer support, advocacy, and resources to families in the Northeast Ohio Western Pennsylvania region. The organization is open to family members, medical professionals and anyone interested in helping those in our community with Down syndrome reach fullest potential.
The support and resources include but are not limited to: New Parent packs, Parent meetings, Medical & Professional speakers, Early intervention information, Community events, Social gatherings.
The next member meeting will be held at the Liberty library branch on Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. Upcoming events include:
Sept. 14-Therapeutic Playgroup at Boardman Park
Sept. 28-Television interview-WKBN-Noon news
Oct. 11-Lecture Series-Sheila Cannon from the Down Syndrome Center in Pittsburgh
Nov. 8-Spa Day holiday event & fundraiser
The organization is running a pizza, cookie and pie kit fund raiser through Sept. 12. Contact them to order.
For more information about the Down Syndrome Association of the Valley visit their web site at www.dsav.org.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Support group holds picnic
By BOB COUPLAND, Tribune Chronicle
VIENNA - It may have been raining and cooler outside for a summer picnic earlier this week, but that didn't stop more than 150 people from attending a gathering for a newly formed group which provides education, advocacy and support to families with Down syndrome children.
The Down Syndrome Association of the Valley was formed by two local couples to provide a local support groups for families in northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
Families gathered Sunday for the association's first summer picnic held at the Litco International Picnic Grounds in Vienna.
The group was founded five months ago after more than a year of planning by Kelly and Chris Donadio of Howland and Michele and Ken Jones of Warren to provide area families with support closer to home. Both couples have young daughters with Down syndrome and said that although they were in contact with organizations and support groups in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, they believed there was a need for a local group.
Michele Jones, co-chair of the group with Kelly Donadio, said the families who are part of the group are able to attend meetings, hear medical professional and parent speakers, receive early intervention information and new parent packets, attend community events and social gatherings, and be part of parent connections.
The DSAV encourages parents, families, friends and medical professionals to work together in building a future where everyone can live successful and productive lives.
Ken Jones said having people with children who are all different ages helps in providing support and advice to other parents.
Topics being discussed by the group include medical issues, early intervention, therapy, school inclusion, trusts and financial planning.
Michele Jones said the group has more than 40 families from northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania being part. She said many families were looking for a local Down syndrome chapter when they found about the newly formed group.
The association also provides age-based play groups or gatherings, therapeutic playgroups, and resource library and Web and phone networks.
Ken Jones said the group focuses on advocacy and helping new parents by providing them with assistance and advice and also connections through various get together events.
He said the parental support includes updates and news
''We want to give new parents options and people they can talk to,'' he said.
The get-togethers allow for sharing of experiences, Ken Jones said.
The local group is an affiliate member of the National Down Syndrome Congress and the National Down Syndrome Society.
Upcoming events for the group include a preschool therapeutic playgroup from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 14 in Boardman Park Kids Town. October activities will be guest speaker Sheila Cannon and the the therapeutic playgroup at Tiger Town in Howland Township Park. November activities will be therapeutic playgroup at Jumpin' Jack and Jill LLC in Warren.
The group is also planning to take part in a Buddy Walk in 2008.
Monthly meetings are held 6 p.m. the first Thursday of the month at various locations. The Sept. 6 meeting will be Liberty Library Branch's meeting room.
For more information call Kelly Donadio or Michele Jones or visit www.dsav.org for specific dates and locations.
August 20, 2007
LOCAL SUPPORT - At one time, parents seeking Down syndrome support groups had to travel...
By HAROLD GWIN, VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
VIENNA - Stephanie and Bill Champlin of Salem began looking for a local Down syndrome chapter with the birth of their son, William, a year ago.
They even searched the Internet but found nothing local.
William, who was diagnosed with the genetic disorder, just had his first birthday and it was only a week ago that Stephanie was on the Internet again, looking for a Down syndrome organization to which they could make a donation in their son's name.
This time she found the newly formed Down Syndrome Association of the Valley.
"We were excited," she said, adding that she immediately filled out the online membership form.
She soon got an e-mail response from Kelly Donadio, co-chairman of the local group, along with notice of the group's very first member picnic Sunday.
The association can be found at www.dsav.org.
The Champlins didn't let a little thing like a cold, wet afternoon prevent them from bringing William to the event held at the Litco International picnic grounds on Youngstown-Kingsville Road.
"There needs to be more education in this area, advocacy and support," Stephanie said, explaining her interest in the association.
The couple had been brainstorming about what they could do on their own when they found out about the local association.
"We're going to be the contact people in Salem," Bill said.
Founders Kelly Donadio and Michele Jones , along with husbands Chris Donadio and Ken Jones, launched the association just a few months ago.
Both have children with Down syndrome: The Donadios' daughter, Marina, who will be 2 in October, and the Joneses' daughter, Lauren, 3.
Kelly and Michele are co-chairmen. Chris is secretary and Ken is treasurer.
Both families had some contact with Down syndrome organizations in Cleveland and Pittsburgh but felt there was a need for some things here, Kelly said. Parental support for one another is a key factor, she said.
"We knew there were other families," she said, noting the membership has grown quickly. Sunday's picnic drew more than 100 people, despite the constant rain and temperatures hovering below 60 degrees.
These conditions didn't prevent the children from having fun. Litco allowed the association to set up carnival games and a large, inflated bouncer in its warehouse where kids could jump up and down to their heart's content. There was even a clown doing face paintings, and the line awaiting her services was long.
"The parent-to-parent connection is a vital thing," said Willie Hetrick, who, with her husband, Dick, and daughter, Katie, lives in Sharpsville.
The picnic was the Hetricks' first connection with the association.
"It's nice talking to other parents and encouraging them," Willie said.
Katie, 15, will be a sophomore at Sharpsville High School this year and said math, reading and music are her favorite classes.
She likes singing with the chorus and helps manage the volleyball team. Katie is also a Girl Scout.
Having people in the association whose children are older and have been through the system and can offer advice to parents with young children is very beneficial, Kelly Donadio said.
"It's also great for extended families," Ken Jones said, noting that a number of aunts and uncles of children with Down syndrome made it a point to get to the picnic.
The group already delivers "new parent packets" to hospitals in northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania and has contacted all pediatricians and obstetricians in that same region informing them of its existence.
The association is also reaching out to local libraries to help disseminate information about Down syndrome and support programs for parents.
There are no membership fees to join the Down Syndrome Association of the Valley, but the group is having a Little Caesar's Pizza fundraiser selling pizzas and cookie dough to provide funds for programs to benefit association members.
Sept. 12 is the last day to order, and deliveries will be Sept. 21.
July 21, 2007
The VindicatorPublished: Saturday,
DOWN SYNDROME SUPPORT GROUP FORMED
WARREN - Parents in Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Lawrence and Mercer counties have recently formed the Down Syndrome Association of the Valley, a nonprofit organization.
Organized as a support group for parents with children who have Down syndrome, the association is designed to provide support, resources, advocacy, education and opportunity for those with Down syndrome and their families.
The organization is open to family members, medical professionals and anyone interested in helping those with Down syndrome reach their fullest potential.
A picnic is being planned for Aug. 19 and will be held at an area park. For information on membership or upcoming plans, visit the Web site at www.DSAV.org
July 25, 2007
Local parents with children who have DOWN SYNDROME have formed a support group and invite others to join. The Down Syndrome Association of the Valley is a local non-profit organization in the northeast Ohio/western Pennsylvania area established to provide support, resources, advocacy, education and opportunity for those with Down syndrome and their families. The families are supported by medical professional and parent speakers, new parent packet, community events, social gatheirngs, parent connection and therapeutic playgroups. The organization is open to family members, medical professionals and anyone interested in helping those in our community with Down syndrome reach their fullest potential. For membership information, visit www.DSAV.org. The group is an affiliate member of the National Down Syndrome Society and the National Down Syndrome Congress.