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Spring 2005

HAPPY SPRING TO EVERYONE- sure off to a wet beginning.

The Second Annual Bowl-A-Rama was a huge success. What a great day it was, and it was a wonderful event. Not only did everyone bowl well and have fun but it brought all of us together as a family united to help sustain this incredible organization. We saw familiar faces and reacquainted ourselves with folks we only see once or twice a year. We also met many new friends that came in support of families they know and in memory of those no longer with us. The joy, the cheers, the laughter and support for each other made this day a special one to remember.

A big thank you goes to Earl Anthony Bowl, our lane sponsors, the �cheering section�, all of you bowlers who worked so hard to be sponsored and lastly to our great Bowl-A-Rama committee who worked so hard to have this event be such a tremendous success. We are already working on �fine tuning� this fund-raiser for next year! From young to old we all bowled like champions! Donations are still coming in, and we have almost reached our goal of $20,000.00-way to go!

We would like to welcome our new Executive Director, Terry Sylvester. She brings LOTS of energy and new ideas to help the DSC move forward. Stop by and say hello-Terry is looking forward to meeting the DSC family.

Martha hasn�t wasted anytime diving into her new position as Director of Parent Advocacy and Support. She has IEP�S lined up, meetings with Special Ed Directors and is continuing her work with new families. Please call Martha for any support needed.

Our STEP classes are entering the 2nd Spring Session. The kids are excited about being back after the two week break. We have a few openings available, call Jamie if you would like to enroll. This is a great opportunity for your child to make new friends, build self-confidence, and have FUN!!

Please see Mark Your Calendar and Announcements for upcoming events. There is a lot going on Around the Connection-don�t miss out!

Winter 2004

Our STEP programs have begun with a bang! Everyone is excited about being back; a chance to get caught up on all the summer happenings. Our teachers and students bring with them tons of energy and lots of excitement. We have room in our STEP In class held in Danville, our Express Yourself class also held in Danville and our Antioch STEP class too. Call Jamie at the office for more information and availability.

Great News! The Down Syndrome Connection Heartstrings calendars for 2005 have arrived. We know you have enjoyed the calendars in the past, and hope you will purchase one or more for the New Year. The beautiful models in this calendar are from around the Connection. All proceeds will directly benefit the programs for the Down Syndrome Connection, which strives to enhance the lives of persons with Down syndrome as well as their families. The purchase of this calendar for $20 is completely tax deductible. This is a unique gift for family, friends, neighbors, teachers, doctors, and co-workers. Heartstrings is a collaboration between the Down Syndrome Connection, local photographer Kathy Franklin and Drew Kocir of Minuteman Press, San Ramon. Through the lens of Kathy�s camera one sees the endearing faces of children with Down syndrome. It is her hope and that of ours, that the photographs will be viewed with the eye of acceptance, noting the similarities of all children. Since Kathy graciously donated her services and the printing was generously discounted by Drew, all the proceeds will go directly to the kids in our programs. Inserted in this newsletter is an order form. Mail it or fax it to us and we will do the rest!

The DSC Sixth Annual Picnic was a huge success. It was a great time had by all. New friendships made and old friendships rekindled. It was a perfect day to get re-acquainted. The weather cooperated, in fact, it was cool during the early part of the day-and the DSC had their new sweatshirts available for sale. Thanks to Mike and Joanne Doyle for working the DSC �gear� table. Stop by and see our new sweatshirts, tote bags, our note cards, cookbooks, and of course, the 2005 Calendar! Thank you to the families who brought salads, chips and drinks. Greatly appreciated. Thank you to Gloria Casadont, Megan Portoni and Debbie Copeland for your hard work. Thank you to John Harkins and Tom Jones, once again, for being the �chefs�.

Our holiday party is just around the corner. Come and join us for a fun-filled afternoon. This is for families and friends of the DSC. We will have caroling, decorating cookies, holiday crafts and of course a visit from the �big guy� himself-Santa Claus!!!! This will be held on Sunday, December 5th, 2004 from 2-4pm in Danville, at the Community Center. Invites will be in the mail soon. PLEASE, PLEASE-we are looking for help with the Holiday crafts-someone to create, make and help the day of the event. Please call the office if you�re interested.

The IFMA Gold Tournament, benefiting the Down Syndrome Connection, was a smashing success this year. Everyone had so much fun and the spirit of giving by all those who played was wonderful. A BIG thank you to Jane Mele and IFMA�S Board of Directors and volunteers who worked so hard to help the Connection and all the families we serve.

Greetings of the Season and Best Wishes for the New Year! Enjoy your time together. Lets be very thankful for what we have.

Fall 2004

What�s been happening?

Well, what a night it was!! Our annual May meeting was a huge success. We had a very powerful and emotional evening. Thanks to the Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church for providing such a warm and cozy banquet room. Thanks to Tony Roma�s, once again, for a fabulous dinner. And thanks to Karen Gaffney for such a motivational, from-the-heart talk. She truly inspired us all to overcome limitations and achieve our goals. Congratulations to our award winners, well deserved. Girl Scout Troop 512 for their countless hours of help; to Maria Burley, our Volunteer of the Year, your dedication is amazing; to Katherine Sefton, who will be truly missed; and to Janet Richman who received the prestigious Virginia Pearce Memorial Award. Words will never be able to say how much she means to the Connection, as our CFO and most of all, our friend. If you were unable to attend, please, please make an effort to do so next year.

The Elliott�s Charity Golf Tournament, benefiting the DSC was a smashing success this year. Everyone had so much fun and the spirit of giving by all those who played was wonderful. A BIG thank you goes to our friends Dale Stockbridge and Cindi Haines who work so hard to help the Connection and all the families we serve.

Our summer STEP Classes have begun! Everyone is looking forward to a fun-filled 6 weeks! Thanks to the San Ramon Valley Kiwanis Club, our summer art program will be a big hit! We are grateful to them for their continued support.

We are in the process of taking pictures for our 2005 calendar. We have a new friend, Kathy Franklin, who is taking the photos for us. We are looking for a September release. Please show your support by purchasing many of these gorgeous calendars. More to follow.

Sunday, September 12, 2004, is the Sixth Annual DSC picnic. Family and friends, come! Games, food and lots of fun. This is a great time to see old friends and make new ones.

Have a great summer everyone. We look forward to seeing you around the Connection. Check our new web site at www.dsconnection.org. -Kelly Damaj has spent a tremendous amount of time making this happen. Thanks Kelly!