Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona

April 2024 Newsletter

Autism Acceptance Month

Gina's Blog

From My Heart to Yours, Love, David’s Mom

Dear Sharing Families,

Last week, one of our sons and his family (Luke, Annie, Finley, Shep, and Campbell) surprised us by driving down from Utah to spend their Spring Break with us. It was wonderful to have them here. We are a totally normal family as you can tell by our picture (in blog)! We love spending time with them, but one night their little daughter, Campbell, had a double ear infection and was in so much pain. They ended up having to take her to the Emergency Room. 

It had been a tough night... 

Continue reading more of Gina's blog! 

24th Sharing Down Syndrome Walk Is Near!

It's time to lace up those walking shoes, send reminders to your team members/donors, and put the finishing touches on posters in honor of your loved ones with Down syndrome. It's not too late to register your team!

On Saturday, April 20th, the Sharing Walk event will kick off at 8:30-9:00 am for individuals with check-in and registration at Tempe Diablo Stadium 2200 W. Alameda Dr. in Tempe. Parking will be plentiful and free in the parking lot east of the stadium. Until the awards ceremony begins, walkers will enjoy this FREE event featuring food trucks, exhibitors, obstacle courses and slide inflatables, carnival-style games with prizes, entertainment including some movie characters, and our very beloved DJ Ron playing the music we love to dance to!  

At 9:30 am, The official program portion of our event begins – We will honor our country with the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem – performed by members of our community with Down syndrome. We will distribute a few awards to citizens who support people with Down syndrome through employment, education, social work, and volunteerism. The walk will begin immediately following.  

Enjoy fun new activities for this event, including cheerleaders from two different schools, one being a diversified group with special needs, special guests including Fairy Tale Princesses such as Elsa and Anna, Ariel, Rapunzel, Belle, and Cinderella, Superheroes favorites like Superman and Spider-Man, face painting, ASU student volunteers, a DJ playing upbeat music, and the Hip Hop Homies with Extra Chromies to perform a dance routine and more. The half-mile, stroller friendly route around the stadium will be led by the Grand Marshal team carrying a distinctive banner. As walkers finish the short lap around the stadium, they will g to enjoying the festivities including browsing for branded Sharing Down Syndrome AZ gear from the Marketplace.

Every taste and appetite will be covered, as there will be five (5) food trucks there including CiCi's Tea, Facios Dogs, Waldo Tacos, Udder Delights, and Kona Ice. You can have teas of all sorts, hot dogs featuring the Mexican Street Corn dog, tacos, ice cream, and snow cones to keep cool on the gorgeous spring morning.

Sharing Walk Registration
Sharing Walk Sponsorships

Meet the Top 3 Fundraising Teams

The Grand Marshal will be announced on April 18, 2024.

Team Donations competing for the Grand Marshal/Top Donor award should be entered by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 (Arizona Time). 

A BIG thank you to all teams' fundraising efforts to fuel Sharing's free programs like Angels Among Us, ongoing advocacy, and support throughout the lifespan of our loved ones with different abilities. The Grand Marshal gift basket and Nicholas Hall Award plaque will be awarded on the day of the walk to the team with the most funds raised by 11:59 pm on April 17th, 2024. The top team will be announced and notified on April 18th. The 1st place team will also lead the walk with a distinctive banner. All teams will be recognized with a shout out from our emcee as they cross through the balloon arch that designates the starting point of the walk!

Stay glued to our social media pages as we reveal prizes for the 2nd and 3rd place teams in the coming days ahead!

"It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving."

~ Mother Teresa

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Support Your Favorite Team
Sharing Walk Volunteer Opportunities

SAECO in Partnership with SDSA

10th Annual Golf Tournament

Bright and early, Monday morning, March 18th, Smith & Annala Engineering Co. hosted their 10th annual charity golf tournament for Sharing. The turnout was amazing! Time spent at the Legacy golf course in Phoenix was full of camaraderie, smiles, brunch, and prizes. SAECO raised $1,400 towards SDSA's programming and we are so grateful!

If you have a family member or dear friend with Down syndrome, this webinar is for you. Register for this important webinar now.

Global Webinars

Home of the Homies' Carol Tingey

Interviews with 12 News

On Friday, March 29, 2024, the Hip Hop Homies with Extra Chromies were invited to perform for friends who attend the Civitan Foundation in Phoenix. It is a program for individuals with any Intellectual or Developmental delay. IDD) 

 Because my son David has been in that dance troupe for the past six years I have witnessed firsthand all that Carol Tingey, who is the Director and Founder of the Hip Hop Homies does to bless the lives of those who are a part of that group. She has since created two new classes and I know she has a waiting list for others who want to take part.

When we arrived I could feel the excitement from the people who attend that program and from those who work there as well. The crowd cheered as the Homies gave them their very best! It was magical. But something even sweeter happened afterward! That was when the 7-time Emmy Award Winning journalist, Emma Jade from Channel 12 NBC News, interviewed Carol. It was for her podcast called, "MOMCAST."  

Now if you knew Carol she prefers to stay out of the limelight. She is humble and just genuinely loves being with our kids. I can't wait for you to hear the interview. My favorite part was when Emma Jade asked Carol to share what inspired her to create the "Hip Hop Homies" dance troupe six years ago. You will love her answer. 

The second wonderful thing that happened that day was when Emma Jade interviewed our very own Ani Kowalski! Ani has been serving as a volunteer for the Homies performances each week. She began the very first time we met and she has been doing it ever since the past 6 years. She began when she was age 12 and she just turned age 18! She has always been there for the Homies.

When you hear how Ani answered Emma Jade's question of why she continues to give so much of her time to volunteering for the Homies I promise it will make you cry as well. I think the MOMCAST will air this Sunday and I am not sure when Ani's interview will air, but I promise to keep you posted!  

With much love,

David's Mom 

(aka Gina Johnson)

Watch the HHH MOMCAST!

National Down Syndrome Congress

Convention Updates

July 25- 28

Convention registrations happened at lightning speed and are now at over 800 attending the general conference! Volunteer positions are still open for those able to help make this event successful.

The reward & memories are endless, when giving of your time and volunteering with the NDSC Convention.

  • You will receive a complimentary 2024 NDSC Volunteer Convention t-shirt to keep as a souvenir. 
  • You get to be part of the NDSC Team.
  • The joy of seeing the NDSC convention impact.

2024 NDSC Volunteer Opportunities
Read More About the Convention

Join us for a day at the ballpark after the convention. Chase field is a state-of-the-art stadium and a must-see to cheer on the AZ Diamondbacks National League Champions!

Reserve Your Tickets

Please support our sponsors who have given to us so generously over the years. We are thankful for all of you!

Thank You To All Of Our Supporters

Diamond Sponsors

Blacker Orthodontics

The Colten Cowell Foundation

Providence Homes

The Saguaros (formerly The Scottsdale 20/30 Club)


No Missing Links Foundation (Gilbert, AZ)

Ak-Chin Indian Community

Johnson Larsen Family Dentistry

Platinum Sponsors

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation

Kerr Endodontics 

Albertsons, Safeway, and Vons – Southwest Division

National First Response Roofing

Mountain View Funeral Home & Cemetery

The Colton Cowell Foundation

Earnhardt Automotive Employees

Gold Sponsors

Farnsworth Ricks Management & Realty - Sylvia & Leon Ricks

Phelps LeClair Estate Law

All Aboard Services

Absolute HCBS

Silver Sponsors

The Tempe Diablos

Valle Luna Mexican Food & Cantinas 

Save This Memory Photography & Videography

Salt River Project Employees

Upside Pest Control

Bell Bank – Jeremy King

Amazon PHX3

Sharing the Good Life Foundation

Bronze Sponsors

Foresight Chiropractic Wellness Center

Best Trophies and Awards 


Hope Group 

Brooks Orthodontics

Endeavor HCBS

Paul Kelly Maxillofacial

Friends of Sharing 

AZ Dept of Economic Security – Department of Developmental Disabilities

Susan Marks & Advocates

Raising Special Kids

Arizona State University Sensorimotor Research Lab

Fiesta Bowl Charities

KinectAbility Athletics

US Borne Books

Tyler's Place

AZ Premier Flag Football

...and the countless in-kind donors, families, individuals, volunteers, and organizations who give us so much strength and support. We are truly grateful.


You can select our organization as your charity of choice when you sign up for Fry's Rewards. Thank you to our loyal participants. Each month Fry's Food Stores sends a report of our earnings!

Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and all contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. EIN: 86-0822557.

Our Arizona State Tax Qualifying Charitable Organization (QCO Code) is 20543.

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