cowmunity spotlight nominee

march winner

Dawn Buckley

National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Imagine hearing the words “Down syndrome” as a new parent. Where would you turn? Bill and Dawn Buckley of Dyer, Indiana, turned to the Down Syndrome Association of Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland34 seven years ago after their daughter Addison was born.

As new parents, it was a scary, overwhelming and a confusing time. However, Dawn found “light” at their local nonprofit. Through working with Addi and volunteering with the association, she began to see a new direction. Dawn left her career in education and now devotes her life to improving lives of those around her with Down syndrome. Now a mother of two, Dawn, along with the board and so many community volunteers, has literally “rebuilt” the organization.

According to volunteer Stacey Killeen, Dawn and her husband Bill work tirelessly to provide up-to date resources, educational programs, and social events for the Down syndrome & special needs community. They led the initiative to expand from their current small facility to a new 5,000 square foot facility, opening in this year. They raised funds and recruited volunteers from the community in order to make this happen. Their drive in life is their beautiful daughter Addi, who was the spark to ignite this community to come together.

The new facility located at 2906 Highway Avenue in Highland, IN will provide a place for those with Down syndrome and other special needs to participate in Arts Abound (art class), Chit Chat (speech groups), Making Connections (one on one tutoring for math and reading), social groups, play dates, life-skill classes and many other opportunities. Even today, it is an uphill battle to fight for inclusion and acceptance. However, Dawn is building a legacy for everyone in Northwest Indiana and beyond who is impacted by Down syndrome and special needs.

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february spotlight

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may spotlight

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august spotlight

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march spotlight

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june spotlight

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september spotlight

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rewarding great individuals

Each month, meatheads will select one person who exemplifies the company’s standards of determination, hustle & hard work. If you know someone who demonstrate the meatheads values, please let us know!