HIGHLAND | The Down Syndrome Association of Northwest Indiana on Friday will host its annual awards banquet, with a magical twist.
The event, called Magical Moments, will feature a magician, a red carpet, magic trick souvenirs, raffles and a silent auction, said Corinne Thompson, vice president of the association.
"Last year was the first year we stepped it up a notch and made it even more special and more exciting for the kids," she said.
About 300 people are expected to attend.
The association, founded in the 1960s, serves five counties in Northwest Indiana and focuses on educating people about Down syndrome. It works with new parents who have a child with Down syndrome, serves as a prenatal resource and offers services, such as math and reading tutoring, to children with Down syndrome.
"At this event, we are awarding children and adults with Down syndrome for their accomplishments over the last year," she said.
Awards focus on personal achievements, from learning to ride a bike without training wheels to being brave during doctor appointments to learning how to crawl, Thompson said.
"Every kid will be recognized individually and come across the stage and get the award," she said.
The Highland-based association is a nonprofit and relies on volunteers. It recently formed a social group for older children and young adults with Down syndrome, with karaoke nights and pizza parties.
If a family needs a service that the group does not offer, it will link them with a group that can, Thompson said.
For more information about the association, visit www.dsaofnwi.org.