This year’s fundraising 5K event looked differently due to the Covid-19 pandemic. GiGi’s Playhouses’ 60+ locations across the U.S. and 1 location in Mexico hosted our first ever Virtual Step To Accept 5K Event. Our Playhouse hosts two big fundraisers a year to cover the cost of our program materials and rent for our Playhouse. You could have joined as an individual or as a team. We asked many of our Teams Leaders why they made a Team for the event and this is what they said.

Team: Mikey’s Minion Movers

Words from Mickey’s mother, Lisa. “We have proudly been a team for 7 years now, helping to raise awareness and recognition for our GiGi’s Playhouse in Tinley Park! GiGi’s has been part of our family since our Mikey was born. Not only do we have a lot of fun through their programs, but the outreach, support and care for each other and the friends and families we meet there have brought lasting and loving relationships into our lives! We want you to join a team, maybe even our team to continue to build up that love and kindness that was first given to us all those years ago, and to continue to pass it along! The impact GiGi’s has made in our lives is simply that they are part of our family and always will be and we couldn’t imagine life without them and all the members and volunteers we’ve met along the way! Join us as we take 1 step at a time to continue to spread kindness!”

Team: Camille Brave 2020

Words from Camille’s mother, Kaitlin. “GiGi’s is an amazing organization that provides a welcoming place for children and families with Down Syndrome to learn and grow. As Camille grows older she will rely on GiGi’s more and more to assist in her learning and development and of course build life long relationships. Please consider joining our team or making a donation to support this amazing organization that is completely free to those families who have children with Down Syndrome.”

Team: Mayor Matts Marchers

Words from Matt’s Mother, Linda. “From the time that we cut the ribbons at our first location in Oak Forest, Matt has been deemed “Mayor Matt” a title he is so proud of! Over the years we have watched GiGi’s Tinley Park continue to evolve, to grow in participants, to grow in programs, the addition of GiGi Prep, all at no cost to the participants. Over the past few years I have been so proud to be part of this organization but it is nothing in comparison to the sense of pride, overwhelming awe and amazement to what has transformed over the past 2 months due to COVID. Our amazing leaders have found ways to keep everyone connected virtually. Though our playhouse may be empty right now, we know in the near future we will all be back in the playhouse, playing, receiving therapies, tutoring, all at no cost. The minute we are able go back to some normalcy I know that Matt will be one of the first people in line to get through the doors of his happy place GiGi’s Playhouse.”

Team: Hustle for Hannah

Words from Hannah’s Mother, Ellen. “GiGi’s became an important part of our lives with the birth of our sweet Hannah. It is a place where she and her brothers are welcomed to receive free services, support, connections and a lot of fun. Even now, while we shelter-in-place, GiGi’s offers virtual tutoring, therapies, play groups (I could go on and on). It is such an amazing, warm, loving place and I know it will be part of our lives forever. How lucky are we? Check out the event registration–it is super reasonable–and a generous/fun way to spend your time at home. Thank you.

PS: A little story: Last week, I asked the boys where they would most like to go when the corona-virus is over:
Matthew said, “the library”
David said, “pump it up or Gizmos”
When I asked, “where do you think Hannah wants to go?” David immediately shouted, “I know! Gigi’s!” (David is 4 and he recognizes the love his sister feels for GiGi’s)”.

Thank you so much for everyone’s support! Your participation continues to support our Playhouse and provide Free Programs to our families.

Thank you Meijer of Orland Park for being our  Playhouse Sponsor; you are making a difference in our community!

Contact our Playhouse if you’d like to support our Playhouse; we take many donations and wou ld love to have more volunteers.  

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