A nationwide organization dedicated to changing the way the world views Down Syndrome is opening its 45th location in Vestal.
GiGi’s Playhouse Southern Tier is holding its grand opening Sunday at 732 Vestal Parkway East next to Jo-Ann Fabrics.
GiGi’s offers free educational, therapeutic and career development programs for people with Down Syndrome of all ages.
The local chapter can choose from 30 programs developed by GiGi’s Playhouse.
Anna Bruce, whose 7-year-old son Camden has Down Syndrome, helped to launch plans for a local GiGi’s after visiting the nearest site near Syracuse several years ago.
Bruce says it’s a fun and happy place to celebrate achievements.
“Our kids and our adults are capable of so much more. So, we’re really working to empower them. And really help them meet their fullest potential. It’s not just about the challenges, it really is a celebration and that’s our goal.”
Sunday’s grand opening is scheduled from 1 until 3 with a ribbon cutting and remarks at 1:30.
Among the guests will be GiGi’s Playhouse founder Nancy Gianni and her daughter GiGi for whom the organization is named.
There will be tours, music, program stations, face painting, and cake.
The local chapter currently has 70 families in its database.
Bruce says GiGi’s is all volunteer and raises all of its money from private donations and does not receive government grants.