The Virginia Down Syndrome Association, formerly the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Richmond, recently unveiled its rebrand, redefining the look of the organization to better fit its core mission and aspirations.
The Virginia Down Syndrome Association (VDSA) is an inclusive group focused on education, empowerment and engagement for individuals with Down syndrome. Offering a breadth of services and support since 1983, VDSA helps over 560 families impacted at every stage. Between its First Call program, which provides support to parents who received a diagnosis prenatally or after birth, to the countless opportunities for children and their families, VDSA’s support to the community is unmatched.
So why the name change?
The organization has been doing work beyond Greater Richmond for years. Currently, it serves 52 counties and 16 cities. VDSA is focused on growth and increasing awareness and education throughout all of Virginia and wanted its branding to reflect that. Another major reason has to do with funding. When the organization was approaching foundations outside of Richmond, it often hit roadblocks. With a new, more representative image, it is optimistic about deepening its services in communities outside of Richmond.
“Individuals with Down syndrome attend school, work, recreate and have full lives,” said Jennifer Case, VDSA’s executive director. “They are part of the communities we live in and shouldn’t be erased. A name change can seem very small to some but makes a major difference for families who are looking to be in community with others.”
The rebrand was announced at VDSA’s Step Up for Down Syndrome Event on Oct. 15.
Mark Boone, the president of the VDSA board, started with a speech, reflecting on the past and looking into the future. As he concluded, two board members cut down the zip ties holding up the DSAGR banner to revel the new VDSA banner. Alison Markow, VDSA’s director of development and events, said VDSA wanted to announce the change at Step Up so it could tell the community in person.
This year marks VDSA’s 16th annual Step Up for Down Syndrome event in Richmond, which is its longest running and largest fundraising event. It reached its fundraising goal of $200,000 before the event even began. The event surpassed 2,000 attendees, making it a great stage for spreading awareness.
VDSA’s next fundraiser is the D.A.D.S Golf Tournament on Nov. 11 at Sycamore Creek Golf Course.