Improving the quality of life of individuals with Down syndrome.



HDSA has submitted a minority report to Kelly Amos, Chair of the Halton District School Board and all Trustees regarding the 2016-2017 Special Education Plan. Please see link below for the full report. 


Report to Halton District School Board

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Hello everyone! 

Just a reminder that a Go21 planning meeting will be taking place next Thursday, June 2nd from 7:00 - 8:45 p.m. at our new office space located at 201 - 330 Bronte Street South in Milton, Ontario, L9T 7X1. The agenda for the meeting is below. All are welcome and we hope to see you there!! 


HDSA Go21 Agenda & Notes            
Date:               Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 - 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm
Location:        HDSA Office – 201-330 Bronte Street South, Milton, Ontario, L9T 7X1
7:00    Call to order and approval of Agenda,
Approval of April 28th, 2016 Minutes
7:05     Introductions       
7:10     CDSS Information (Leanne T.)

  • Website updates
    • Email went out to members clarifying team pages vs. individual pages and how to signup new team members
    • Make sure when sending out pages for people to donate that you’re sending out the team page
    • Next year we may eliminate individual pages
  • Don’t forget to check DropBox for regular event updates/changes
  • 1500 CDSS Keychains arrived at HDSA Office
  • Update on Leanne’s meeting with CDSS

7:11     Event Budget (Leanne T.)

  • On track – has been updated on Dropbox
  • Update on Budget

7:12     Sponsorship Committee (Jen T. & Leanne T.)

  • So far we have $35,500.00 in Sponsorship accounted for (excluding in-kind Sponsorship) – see updated list on Dropbox, as of May 7, 2016
  • We would still like to hit $40,000 in sponsorship now to pay for the event.
  • Looking for more Bronze and Friend Sponsors

7:13     Digital Media Committee (Heather W.)

  • Heather will continue to update HDSA’s General website, Facebook page and Twitter with Go21 and sponsorship info
  • Meghan and Heather will post about companies who are sponsors on social media once everyday

7:15     Merchandise/T-Shirts/Swag Bag Committee (Jessica P. & Shannon S.)

  • Items for this year
  • White Participant T-Shirts, Adult/Youth/Toddler à Ordered 140 Toddler, 200 Youth, 675 Adult
  • Yellow Volunteer T-Shirts, Adult à Ordered 170 Adult
  • Blue Event Bags à Ordered 250
  • Participant Medals (Yellow Ribbon) à Ordered 350
  • Blue Baseball Hats à Ordered 1008
  • Luggage Tags à Removed for 2016
  • T-shirt cutoff date was May 13th; Jessica and Shannon calculated and summarized all T-Shirt and Medal information to be sent to 11th Hour – THANK YOU!
  • T-shirt selection is no longer an option on the website during registration
  • All merchandise has now been ordered; layouts approved
  • Update on Hats (Jen): $0.50 more than initially budgeted due to mix-up with ordering and inability to source overseas supplier; 11th Hour provided a discount from newly quoted price as a result
  • Committee to provide update on plans for sorting T-Shirts and Medals by team, prior to event

7:20     Advertising/Media Committee (Mandy Ulcar)

  • Save-the-Date Cards were handed out at WDSD Party; not being mailed out
  • Posters update – Brandon (Have a Heart for Down Syndrome contact) created our posters this year, Data printed them free (thank you for organizing, Sarah MZ).  Ordered 2000 small posters, 200 large
  • Distributed 1300 posters to Elementary/Secondary Schools (2 per school 100 per WDSD Contest participant school)
  • Sarah MZ and volunteers distributing posters around community
  • Update on Prospective news stories/advertising, Radio advertisements, Digital signs and advertising

7:30     Event Booklets (Lori Sheppard)

  • Booklets include:  Images, logos, agenda, chair message, map of walking route, HHDS blurb, HHDS Golf tournament ad, event map, stories and pictures of top 3 teams from 2015, sponsor pages, and maybe information on entertainers
  • 5 booklets per bag, 400 booklets in total
  • Lori to provide any further update on booklets

7:40     Set-Up Committee (Atalie F. & Suzanna Z.)

  • 4 people have volunteered for night before, 3 people for morning of – update from Maddison (any additional volunteers?)
  • Email went out to membership requesting volunteers, Superintendents of boards requesting High School students
  • Meghan created Volunteer Request posters which have been sent out to Secondary schools
  • There will be a lot more to setup this year on the night before the event, as well as the morning of (i.e. fencing, tables, table cloths, stage setup, etc.)
  • Night before: 5:00pm
  • Morning of:  7:00am
  • Update on walkie-talkie pickup

7:41     Administration/Registration Committee (Lauren H. & Carinta M.)

  • Have confirmed with CDSS that all registration components will be completed online this year; individuals to enter teams, click if volunteers, fill-in names and t-shirt sizes, children under 12, etc.
  • We will be able to printout registration information with amounts teams have raised t-shirt information
  • People can input their offline pledges online so the Administration/Registration Committee are going to need to print off online donations only and not pledges
  • Committee to update on how this is working so far

7:51     Carnival Committee (Mandy C.)

  • Opening Speaker – Darryl Sittler (former NHL Superstar)
  • Tents, tables, chairs are rented
  • Four inflatables (same as last year) – Rescue Hero Toddler, Carousel Bouncer, Dual Track Obstacle Course, 21’ Slide
  • Four carnival games
  • Rock climbing wall – to be used from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Full size electric train – will run along the ½ track
  • Pony Rides
  • Photo booth will be set up so that people can get their team photos taken at any time throughout the day
  • Update on photographer being hired (Scott H.)
  • Doug the Great coming from 11:00 – 2:00 p.m.
  • Magician (Tyler Fergus) coming from 11:00 – 2:00 p.m.
  • Face Painting from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Caricature Artist coming from 11:00 – 2:00p.m.
  • Portable hand washing stations – 10 toilets have been ordered (including 2 accessible; added in May for a small additional fee 4 handwashing stations
  • Balloons – 500 inflatable balloons, 4 columns
  • Update on Road Closure decision (Jen)

8:00     Entertainment Committee (Rebecca H.)

  • Schedule for the entertainment:

9:00 - Susie Sunshine (30 minute set)
9:35 - Opening Ceremonies
9:55 - Power Cheer warm-up (5min)
10:00 -11:00 - Walk (high rendition set-up)
10:45 - High Rendition sound check and start playing as walkers come back
11:30 - Cheer Force (10 min)
             Dance Ability (10 min)
             Oakville Butterflies (10 mins)
12:00 - Susie Sunshine (30 minutes)
12:30 - Power cheer (10 mins)
             High School Dance Group (10 mins)
             Kicks for Kids? (10 mins)
1:00 - DJ music
1:15 - Silent auction closing, last call for BBQ

* DJ to fill music between sets if needed
* Each dance/cheer group has 1-2 songs
* No response from Madison Tevlin :(

  • Rebecca has been in touch with Luke Y the DJ to confirm mics, sound set ups and amps.
  • Items we will need on the day:
    • 12-15 Chairs
    • Mics
    • Speakers
    • Ability to hook up each groups music from an iPhone to the sound system.
  • Rebecca to provide any further update on Entertainment

8:10     BBQ Committee (Laurie M.)

  • Have booked Simply BBQ (Mississauga)
  • “Menu” quote: assortment of burgers/dogs, drink and one of chips/cookie/apple slices, etc. à $4.95 per person 13% HST ($4.70 for 1500)
    • Full cooking and setup cleaning staff, BBQs, fire extinguishers
    • HDSA will coordinate volunteers for chips/plates/napkins
    • Booked for 2.5 hours
    • Permit received from Halton Region
    • Carol/Laurie to print out email from Halton Region as proof of Health Approval for food being served at the event
    • Update on Ice Cream Truck
  • Kelly’s Cupcakes on Brant Street in Burlington is donating 200 mini cupcakes
    • Sharon Beesley can pick up the cupcakes the day before
  • Update on coffee/donut place (i.e. Tim Hortons) to come and do morning coffee and TimBits (Sarah M.Z./Leanne)

8:20     Volunteer Committee (Kathy T. & Maddison G.)

  • We will have a clear list from the website this year, but we will also need to track people that don’t sign-up on the website, as they are just coming to volunteer, not participate.
  • Update on graduates’ volunteer activities for day-of
  • Update on volunteer numbers so far and ongoing volunteer list

8:30     Silent Auction Committee (Judy C. & Siobhan C.)

  • Update on Silent Auction plans
    • Ikea picture frames
    • Payment via website, hotspots, etc.
  • Update on Raffle Prizes
    • Products from Mandy

8:40     First Aid & CPR (Maddison G.)

  • St. John’s Ambulance will be confirmed by Maddison G.

8:41     Garbage, Recycling & Water Station Committee (Ellen & Bruce W.)

  • Ellen will be doing this again through the Water Store for people to refill their water bottles (need tables for these)

8:42     Clean-up Committee (Ellen W.)

  • All tables and chairs folded and stacked, all small tents collapsed and bagged, all areas cleaned-up, inside silent auction area cleaned-up

8:43     Thank You Committee and Plak Delivery (Mary L., Kaitlyn, Kerri, Kim & Graduates)

  • Graduates will write Thank You Cards again, we have the Thank You Cards, Meghan has ordered envelopes
  • Graduates are meeting June 8th at Mary L’s House to write Thank Yous
  • The three K’s have agreed to divide up the Plak deliveries with the Graduates to thank our Sponsors

Meeting Adjourned – 8:45pm
Next Meeting – TBA

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Halton Down Syndrome Association will be releasing a 2017 Calendar and we want your child to be featured in it! HDSA invites VIP members of HDSA and their siblings to attend our professional photoshoot. Each VIP will receive a digital copy of their photo at no cost and will be featured in this year's calendar. Calendars will be sold in the fall as a fundraiser to support the many programs and services offered by HDSA. There is no cost to families to attend this event.

Please follow the links below to register for a preferred time slot: 

Saturday, June 25th from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM

Wednesday, July 20th from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM

We ask that you please arrive a few minutes before your scheduled time and that you please notify us in the event that you are unable to attend last minute. In an effort to photograph as many families as possible, photos will be taken of VIP members ONLY and their siblings if parents wish. We would love to have as much participation as possible and ask that you please sign up by selecting a time slot. Photographs will be taken indoors so this event is a go come rain or shine.

Please contact Scott Hurren for more information at

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Exciting News!!

Apr 26, 2016


Dear HDSA Family –

    We have some exciting news to share with you!  After 32 years we have a home to call our own.  Halton Down Syndrome Association has invested in our first office space.  We will be located at Unit 201 – 330 Bronte Street South, Milton, Ontario, L9T 7X1.  It is approximately 1200 square feet and houses a main area, storage room, board room, two offices, a private washroom and a small kitchenette. 

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Go21 - Halton Walk for Down Syndrome

Attention HDSA Friends and Family! Our Go21 event is quickly approaching! We invite you to register a team, join or support a team or individual, or make a direct donation today. CLICK HERE to go to the website for this exciting event. If your team wishes to have walk t-shirts, you must register no later than Friday, May 13th, 2016.  Remember T-SHIRTS ARE FREE!

This year we have also created a poster that we would like YOU to share with your friends and family via social media. Please spread the word so we can make this event another huge success! Click here to access the link to download your copy of the poster today.

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Graduate Movie Outing

Apr 19, 2016


Graduate Movie Outing
Sunday, May 1st

Movie TBD (Thinking maybe My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2)

Cineplex Theatre Oakville
3531 Wyecroft Road, Oakville ON
We will rent a party room and hang out as well as attend a screening of a movie!

If you can attend please email or

Once we know you will be attending we will email you with the showtime. If there is a specific movie you would like to see please include that. Thank you!

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Graduate Volunteers Needed!

Halton Community Resource Fair

Fair Takes place Saturday, April 30th from 10:00am - 2:00pm

We are looking for Graduate Volunteers that are able to attend the Halton Community Resource Fair. This will count towards bursary hours. If any Graduates are available for a 2 hour shift please email the organizer, Shannon Sutton. and/or Jim Dunn

Thank you!

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Elementary Age Soccer

Hi everyone,

The Elementary Group is excited to be offering soccer to our members aged 5-9 years old, to be held on Friday evenings from 6:30-7:30 at Berton Park in Burlington. Soccer will begin on May 27th and run until July 22nd (except for July 1st). This program will be coached by Alex Spyridakis, father of Rachel, and Emile Lecoultre, father of Jacob, two of our VIP's. Jersey's will be provided!  Come join other HDSA families in a fun and active environment!

If you are interested in having your child participate in soccer, please RSVP to Sarah Gale at by April 23rd. 

COST:  FREE (plus a free jersey!)

Registrations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. 

Hope to see you there!

Sarah & Laurie
Elementary Age Group Coordinators

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Graduate Volunteers Needed

Sink One for Jake Golf Tournament - Hosted by Have a Heart for Down Syndrome 

Wednesday, July 20th for any shifts between 9am and 9pm. 

Graduates will help greet people, help with some of the contests during the day on the golf course and help at lunch and/or dinner.

Please email Allan or Kaitlyn if you are available to help out and at what time you can volunteer. This will go towards this years or next years bursary! or

Tournament is being held at:
Royal Ontario Golf Club
6378 Trafalgar Rd, Hornby, ON 

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