Gala Awards 2021

As most of you know, GiGi’s Playhouse volunteers are at the heart of what we do.  In 2020, GiGi’s Playhouse Quad Cities logged close to 1800 volunteer hours with volunteers performing various roles within the Playhouse and that is during COVID times!!!! From virtual math and literacy tutoring, virtual group programs, to event committee members that had to think outside of the box to continue fundraising during challenging times to our board members that continued to meet monthly virtually to make difficult decisions for the Playhouse. Each and every volunteer makes an impact on our Playhouse and the work we do each day.

Every year at our “i have a Voice” Gala we recognize a few individuals that have gone above and beyond the previous year. This year is no different.

The programs offered at GiGi’s are made possible thanks to amazing volunteers that serve as Program Leaders. Program Leaders take on planning, organizing, and implementing their programs at the scheduled time. These leaders have created a special bond with many of the participants that attend their program.  We thank all of our leaders, and this year we thank and congratulate Paige Kelly as the 2021 Program Leader of the Year. Paige leads our GiGiFIT program which we began piloting in 2020 and had to get creative within the virtual world but we’re happy to be doing it in person again. Thank you, Paige, for all you do!



We have standout volunteers in all areas, but sometimes one particular volunteer stands out amongst the rest over a year.  This year’s award winner has helped out many times virtually and now again in person. She has been leading our Teen Tastic and Fantastic Friends programs since late 2019, in 2020 she continued to meet with them virtually, came to the Playhouse to help prepare items, and make phone calls too. Please help us congratulate Ana Smith, as 2021 Volunteer of the Year! Thank you, Ana!




GiGi’s has a nationwide campaign called generationG. This campaign instills the need to be accepting, generous, and kind. This year’s generationG award winner has been working behind the scenes. Many of you have probably never met her or even heard her name but you’ve seen the work she’s done on all of our social media platforms.  Please help us congratulate Ava Gomez as our GenerationG Award winner this year. Ava is a Marketing Intern that started in the spring of 2020 to gain more experience. With COVID she primarily worked remotely and met weekly with staff to coordinate and plan all social media marketing. She had originally planned on doing so for just a few months but that has turned into a year and a half because she is generous with her time and talents and wanted to continue to help! Thank you, Ava!

We want to thank not only these volunteers but ALL of the volunteers and all of YOU! Our Playhouse thrives thanks to volunteers, families, and community and your commitment and support to our mission of changing the way the world views Down syndrome.

Stay tuned for an upcoming series of posts celebrating and remembering the past 10 years from the viewpoint of those that helped make our local Playhouse possible!

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