Kohl’s donation brings innovative Down syndrome fitness program to GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee

Press Release, Grant awarded.

Milwaukee, Wis., January 21, 2020 – A one-of-a-kind free fitness program is coming to GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee to help kids of all ages with Down syndrome live a healthy lifestyle, thanks to a $30,000 grant from Kohl’s Cares®.

“While many think Down syndrome is solely an intellectual disability, kids with Down syndrome face pervasive physical challenges and barriers to fitness,” said Susanne Griscom Pelikan, GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee President and Program Committee Chair.

GiGiFIT’s life-changing weekly age-level programs were created in collaboration with skilled Physical Therapists and are designed to address common issues for individuals with Down syndrome. Hypotonia (low muscle tone), excessive joint laxity and decreased balance affect movement and stamina, and cognitive challenges often put traditional fitness classes out of reach. As children with Down syndrome age, unmet needs often lead to disproportionate levels of obesity.

Kohl’s grant to GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee was made through Kohl’s Hometown Giving Program, which awards more than $500,000 in grants annually to nonprofits in Milwaukee. The donations are made possible through Kohl’s philanthropic program, Kohl’s Cares®, which sells children’s books and toys and donates 100 percent of the net profit to support happier and healthier communities nationwide.

GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee, located in Fox Point, began offering the GiGiFIT Adult program in the fall of 2019. The Kohl’s grant provides more than $30,000 to expand the new program to kids of all ages through the full GiGiFIT family of programs, coming later this year.

About GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee:
At GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee we are changing the way the world sees Down syndrome. We do this by offering free educational, therapeutic, and social programming for individuals of all ages, and all abilities. GiGi’s mission is to promote acceptance for all and change the way the Milwaukee community views Down syndrome because individuals with Down syndrome are more like their peers than different. GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee does all of this in a warm, supportive, welcoming family environment that is open for all to learn, socialize, and play.

GiGi’s Playhouse Milwaukee is located just north of the city at 8685 N. Port Washington Road, Fox Point. Within the River Point Village shopping center, we are just a block off I-43 and Brown Deer Road and on a public bus line.

Our national parent organization, GiGi’s Playhouse, Inc., includes 45+ brick and mortar locations across the United States and Mexico. GiGi’s Playhouse is the ONLY network of Down Syndrome Achievement Centers. Every day, we provide FREE, life-changing therapeutic, educational and career training programs for 30,000+ individuals of all ages.

Down syndrome is the largest chromosomal disability in our country and yet it is the least funded. From a prenatal diagnosis to career skills, we make a lifetime commitment to remain by their side. Families are empowered with all the tools their child needs to succeed!

For more information, visit our website at gigisplayhouse.org/milwaukee.

About Kohl’s:
Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) is a leading omnichannel retailer with more than 1,100 stores in 49 states. With a commitment to inspiring and empowering families to lead fulfilled lives, Kohl’s offers amazing national and exclusive brands, incredible savings and an easy shopping experience in its stores, online at Kohls.com and on Kohl’s mobile app. Since its founding, Kohl’s has given more than $700 million to support communities nationwide, with a focus on family health and wellness. For a list of store locations or to shop online, visit Kohls.com. For more information about Kohl’s impact in the community, visit Corporate.Kohls.com or follow @KohlsNews on Twitter.


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