Graphic Enterprises has always made it part of their mission to give back to the community. We have supported many organizations over the years and are proud to continue to do so. Every once in a while, an organization’s cause just touches my heart. As a father, as well as an employer of a man whose son has Down syndrome, I’ve been touched by The Upside of Downs (USOD), a non-profit that provides support, education, and advocacy for people with Down syndrome, their families and communities throughout Northeast Ohio. This week Marketing Director Denise Dennewitz tells her story.
I was sitting at a Green Chamber of Commerce meeting and I heard a story I’ll never forget. Shon Christy of Christy Creative shared his recent experience about the birth of his son. Already blessed with three adorable daughters, he and his wife were ecstatic to learn they were having a boy. But, 24 hours later, they were told he would be born with Down syndrome. After the initial shock, they began their research online and discovered The Up Side of Downs. Shon said that in a sea of negative information, USOD provided a wealth of knowledge and support.
USOD is committed to building a community where people with Down syndrome are independent and have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. I believe parents everywhere can relate to that vision. Shon’s story inspired me so much, I knew I had to help them in some way.
I’m very fortunate to be employed by an organization that will support my passion for giving back to the community. On April 11, I and Amanda Anderson, president of Jackson Belden Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals, were guest bartenders at The Barrel Room. We worked very hard because USOD would receive all of the tips, as well as 10 percent of the sales. As an extra enticement, Ermanno’s Legendary Pizza donated pizza for all of the patrons. After two broken glasses and one dropped bottle of wine I managed to catch with my foot (it didn’t break!), we raised $500 in tips in only two hours.
Special thanks to all who supported this event, especially those from Graphic Enterprises. I would also like to thank company president Brian Frank and Director Administration Karen Brahler for their support.
Our total USOD donation will be $856.43! The money will go towards the purchase of a SmartBoard to teach groups of parents, students and educators in best practices for children and adults with Down syndrome. If you would like to make a donation or find out more about The Up Side of Downs, please visit www.usod.org