Here are answers to some of the questions we have been receiving about our

Step To Accept Challenge.

What is the Step to Accept Challenge?

First and foremost, this is a virtual FUNDRAISER for GiGi’s Playhouse Rockford. With the cancellation of most of our fundraisers for 2020 due to COVID-19, we need ALL our Playhouse families, friends, and supporters to get involved.  You can start a team, join a team, or SIMPLY DONATE to an existing ROCKFORD team! For those who choose to take part in the “step challenge” rather than just donating, you will be joining thousands of GiGi’s supporters from Playhouses across the country on Saturday, June 6th from 11-noon in an effort to log a total of 7 million “Steps to Accept” across America. You can walk, run, ride, or swim wherever you like (outdoors or indoors on a treadmill or stationary bike).  Your movement will be counted as steps that will be added into the combined total.

Why is it called a challenge?

Registrants can challenge each other to see who can get the most steps (or raise the most dollars!). Individual teams within a Playhouse can challenge each other regarding steps or dollars raised. The Playhouses themselves can also challenge other Playhouses! GiGi’s Founder Nancy Gianni has challenged us all to reach 7 million steps across America, with a global goal of 50 million steps to raise awareness and acceptance for individuals with Down syndrome.

Is it a walk-a-thon?

No, you do not need to find people to pledge money for a certain distance you walk.  Each participant who joins the step challenge pays $21 (or $10 per child), and then asks their friends and family if they would like to do the same or just make a donation to their team.  To clarify again, those who are not able or do not wish to “do the steps” can choose to donate without taking part in the step challenge.

Do I have to make a team?

No! However, if you know a lot of people who would be interested in participating in the step challenge for this virtual event, you can make a team and recruit them. However, we currently have 17 teams, and you are welcome to join any of them or join as an individual. You can also just make a donation to a particular team or the Rockford Playhouse in general.

Are you still going to have your 5K on June 13th?

No, our annual “No Limits” 5K has been rolled into this event so we can participate together with 60 Playhouses and startups in this virtual fundraiser.

Do I have to get sponsors?

Not at all! However, if you know anyone who would like to sponsor the event, they can do so on the website under the “sponsor” section. They can sponsor the event or just your team, but this is not a requirement.

Do we need to train?

Absolutely not! The training videos are there if anyone wants to use them. If you would like to push yourself, strengthen your body, or create endurance, the videos will help you do so. They are, by no means, a requirement.

What is Strava?

For people who are going to participate in the step challenge, Strava is the app you download and use to track your steps on June 6th.  Any movement between 11-noon counts, and there is a way you can manually enter movement in the app as well so that you can enter steps for children or anyone on your team who does not have the Strava app.

Is there a registration or donation deadline?

Yes and No … if you plan to join a team AND you would like to receive an event t-shirt, you need to register no later than May 20th! You can start or join a team any time up to the day of the challenge, but you will not receive a t-shirt if you register after May 20th. Regular donations can be made until the time of the challenge (11:00 AM  Central on June 6th) as well!

Can I choose to opt out of receiving a t-shirt to increase the value of my donation to the Playhouse?

That is a very thoughtful gesture, and we appreciate it! However, the website will not allow you to opt out. Everyone registering (not donating) by May 20th will receive a shirt.

Do I need to donate a certain amount?

NO! Just as every step counts in the challenge, every dollar counts!  The Playhouse provides lifetime FREE services to individuals with Down syndrome, but there is obviously a cost to provide those services and programs. For our families, the services we provide are often life changing, and we want to be able to continue providing those opportunities in the future. We receive NO state or federal funding, so we MUST find a way to make up the dollars lost due to the unexpected but necessary cancellation of our fundraisers. Whether it is $5 or $5000, every dollar matters… and every dollar is appreciated!

Please contact the Playhouse at 815-654-7529 or rockford@gigisplayhouse.org with any other questions.

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