Hollywood superstars who escorted brilliant and beautiful models with Down syndrome on the runway and showed their support for Global included Jamie Foxx,Terrence Howard, Beau Bridges, Minka Kelly, John C. McGinley, supermodel Beverly Johnson, Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson, and professional athletes from the NBA and NFL, among several others.
On the red carpet, actor and advocate John C. McGinley stated: “The Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s work is so important because it’s grounded in medicine and science. Global’s at the tip of the sphere when it comes to being ahead of the class in medical advances for people with Down syndrome.”
“Empire” star Terrence Howard, accompanied by his wife, said: “We remember when we were having our child and during the genetic testing they talked about chromosome 21 and things of that nature, and if it was positive they gave us the option to terminate – the idea just broke our hearts because you always give life a chance.”
Jamie Foxx, whose sister DeOndra Dixon was one of the featured models who happens to have Down syndrome, further remarked: “Global really gets down to business when it comes to bringing awareness to Down syndrome.”
The “Be Beautiful Be Yourself” fashion show is the single largest fundraiser in the nation benefiting people with Down syndrome. The celebrity gala attracted 1,400 guests, and has raised over $12M since launching seven years ago. The money raised provides crucial funding for research at the Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, medical care at the Sie Center for Down Syndrome, and education and advocacy, particularly in the emerging field of research into the connection between Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome. Because Down syndrome is among the least-funded genetic conditions by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), research and medical care rely heavily on private funding.
Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a public nonprofit dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, medical care, education and advocacy. Global supports two affiliates which together constitute the only academic home in the United States committed solely to research and medical care for people with Down syndrome: the Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and the Sie Center for Down Syndrome. Global also publishes Down Syndrome World, a national award-winning quarterly magazine.