BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Gigi’s Playhouse, a Down syndrome achievement center in Buffalo has launched Gigi's step to accept challenge, a virtual run-walk-ride designed to send a message of acceptance across the country. On Saturday at noon you can join in on the walk to help support the new facility on Kenmore Avenue in Buffalo.
Back in March Gigi's was five days from its grand opening, but had to postpone because of COVID-19. Will Mondschein, President of Gigi's Buffalo location, says they have changed the layout to make the space social distancing friendly.
“We were able to reconfigure the space appropriately while we were still figuring it out in the first place," Mondschein said.
It will be a space for people of all ages living with Down syndrome to learn and play. Mondscein says the new plan is to open in August. Gigi’s Playhouse has 46 locations across the country, this is usually a time when they host their fundraising 5ks.
So this year they went virtual-- all locations, all at the same time-- will take the step to accept challenge.
“We are all going to walk and cover as much distance as we can in an hour and what we are trying to do is accumulate seven million steps because that’s how much it takes to cover the us,” Mondschein said.
The message-- step to accept, takes a whole new meaning right now. Mondschien says the message goes beyond Down syndrome.
“Accepting everybody for who they are, however they are, whatever they are doing, you have to accept people. The gist of this event is lets get out and do something that says we are going to accept you whoever you are,” Mondschein said.
You can register for the event anytime here, the walk/run or bike begins Saturday at noon.