Held virtually on Saturday, November 13, 2021, the award-winning event attracted over 2,500 viewers from 40 states and 14 countries. The takeaway message was a powerful one – with appropriate funding and more medical centers, we can and will elongate life and improve health outcomes for our loved ones with Down syndrome.
Missed the event? It's not too late to get involved! Watch video highlightsfrom the show!
Over thirty Hollywood and Sports Celebrities zoomed into the event which included 27 beautiful models, 4 honorees, a loving tribute to GLOBAL Ambassador DeOndra Dixon, and shouts outs to Music Legend Quincy Jones and GLOBAL's generous sponsors.
The event was emceed by award-winning journalists Kyra Phillipsand John Roberts and featured 2021 GLOBAL AmbassadorsArchie and Sevy Eicher, and Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Awardees, NFL Hall of Famer & San Francisco 49ers General Manager John Lynch, and Peruvian public servant Bryan Russell Mujica.
Other notables included Music Legend Quincy Jones, supermodelsBeverly Johnsonand Amanda Booth, model Marián Ávila, actress and model Peyton List, actress Miranda May, award-winning actors John C. McGinley, Zack Gottsagen,Jamie Brewer, Megan Bomgaarsand Grey's Anatomy star Caterina Scorsone, award-winning TV host Jeff Probst, R&B power couple Ronnie & Shamari DeVoe, Denver Broncos Brandon McManus,Justin Simmons, andSam Martin, Buffalo Bills Harrison Phillips, Colorado Rapids Kellyn Acosta, former Colorado Rockies RyanSpilborghs and Cory Sullivan, TV anchors Tom GreenandKim Christiansen, golfer Brad Hennefer, inspirational speaker Tim Harris, and author and advocate Frank Stephens. Full celebrity line-up: HERE.
"GLOBAL's Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show never fails to impress. Once again, Michelle and GLOBAL have outdone themselves. But it's not only a fabulous evening, it also has a powerful message and highlights GLOBAL's game-changing work," said John C. McGinley, GLOBAL board member and father to Max, who happens to have Down syndrome.
"People with Down syndrome are still at high risk for COVID-19 so it was only right to hold our event virtually again this year. We are especially grateful for the unconditional support and the love from of our dedicated community, celebrities, partners, members, and our clinicians and scientists", said Michelle Sie Whitten, GLOBAL's President and CEO. "Tonight, thousands of us got to truly celebrate how we are making a tangible difference together. It was awe-inspiring!"
"It is such a great honor to receive GLOBAL's Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award. It will empower me to continue to work hard for the rights of individuals with Down syndrome in Peru and all over the world," said Bryan Russell Mujica.
A highlight of the evening was the world-premiere of Delta Spirit's new single, "What's Done is Done," featuring actors Zack Gottsagen, star of the breakout film The Peanut Butter Falcon and Jamie Brewer, award winning actress from American Horror Story. This is the first music video to star people with Down syndrome.
GRAMMY® Award-winning artist, songwriter, actress, author, and philanthropist Sara Bareilles wowed the audience with her iconic hits "Brave" and "I Choose You." She also shared the personal story of her uncle Brian, with whom she was very close to and who happened to have Down syndrome.
Matthew Morrison, Emmy, Tony, and Golden Globe nominated artist, and beloved Glee and Broadway star, performed live during the VIP reception and answered questions from self-advocates.
The Fashion Show also paid tribute to the late DeOndra Dixon, the beloved sister of Jamie Foxx who tragically passed away last year. GLOBAL continues to honor her memory through the DeOndra Dixon Down Syndrome Research Fund, which raises funds to address medical care and healthcare disparity outcomes for African Americans with Down syndrome.
During the pandemic, GLOBAL provided COVID-19 GLOBAL Emergency Relief Grants to over 200 individuals with Down syndrome and their families, and delivered 30,000 pieces of PPE to those with intellectual disabilities living in group and host homes; the COVID-19 & Down Syndrome Resource, created in collaboration with a consortium of national organizations, was updated to include information on the Delta variant and boosters.
About Global Down Syndrome Foundation The Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GLOBAL) is the largest non-profit in the U.S. working to save lives and dramatically improve health outcomes for people with Down syndrome. GLOBAL has donated more than $32 million to establish the first Down syndrome research institute supporting over 400 scientists and over 2,000 patients with Down syndrome from 33 states and 10 countries. Working closely with Congress and the National Institutes of Health, GLOBAL is the lead advocacy organization in the U.S. for Down syndrome research and medical care. GLOBAL has a membership of over 150 Down syndrome organizations worldwide and is part of a network of Affiliates – the Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the Sie Center for Down Syndrome, and the University of Colorado Alzheimer's and Cognition Center – all on the Anschutz Medical Campus.