Willamette Valley Down Syndrome Association
Mike & Laurie Moore and Mike & Dana Roberts felt that a group designed to specifically address the needs of parents, families and friends of those impacted by Down syndrome would be meaningful and helpful in our community. Megan Moore was five or six when Mike and Dana Roberts' son, Michael, was born and diagnosed with Down syndrome. The Moores and Roberts were already close friends when Michael Roberts was born. Michael's having Down syndrome brought the two families even closer as they navigated health, early intervention and education challenges together.
The Moores and The Roberts knew that there were other families in the area who would benefit by sharing understanding, experiences, resources, best practices, etc. with each other. In 1998 the two families agreed to create The Willamette Valley Down Syndrome Association and they secured non-profit status soon thereafter. There were five or six couples who came to the first meeting at the Tunison Fire Station in Corvallis. That number grew quickly and The WVDSA became an ongoing concern.
The WVDSA's first Buddy Walk was held in October of 1999 in Salem on the grounds of the state capitol. In subsequent years, The Buddy Walk was held at The Riverfront Park in downtown Salem. The Buddy Walk was a great way to raise awareness about Down syndrome and to secure donations that would fund The WVDSA costs of operating.
Over the years, many other parents have contributed their leadership, expertise, time, care, participation and leadership skills to continue helping new parents and families in our area. While it is tempting to list them here, one would fear leaving someone out. Dana Roberts was the first President. Mike Moore served as president for a time. Patie Taylor, our current president, has served in that role for many years.
Families and needs change over time making The WVDSA a living and dynamic entity. If you would like to more actively participate, volunteer or lead a specific activity we encourage you to contact our president, Patie Taylor. Similarly, if you know of a family that would benefit from engaging with The WVDSA, please let us know and we would be pleased to reach out to them.
It is fulfilling and rewarding to know that we have all come together in order to help, encourage and share our love for one another's children with Down syndrome for over 20 years now. We thank you for your participation and contributions now and in the past. .
Thank you for your support!