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Diane Hastings and Laura Chapnek are this year’s co-chairs for the 2nd Annual Downright Beautiful Fashion Show presented by Hastings and Hastings, which features models with Down syndrome walking the runway in the latest fashions provided by Kohl’s.

This Candy Land-themed event will bring more than 200 guests to the outdoor patio at The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) on Sunday, March 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This weekend is extra special because it also celebrates World Down Syndrome Day, a global awareness day to bring a voice to people with Down Syndrome.

co-chairs-600pxHastings and Chapnek were more than excited to take on this role and sat down with Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation (PCHF) to spread the word on this great event and their connection to this cause—benefiting the only free standing Pediatric Down Syndrome Clinic in Arizona!

WHAT IS DOWNRIGHT BEAUTIFUL?

Diane Hasting (DH): My daughters, Delany and Dru (who happens to have Down syndrome).
Laura Chapnek (LC): My son, William is Downright Beautiful (inside and out). He lights up a room the minute he enters!

WHAT MAKES THIS EVENT SO SPECIAL?

DH: We are helping families to receive desperately required medical treatments, therapy advice and check-ups and it is happening in our own backyard, at Phoenix Children’s Hospital Pediatric Down Syndrome Clinic!
LC: It is also a great way to showcase how special our kids who have Down Syndrome are and what a difference Phoenix Children’s Hospital has made in their lives.

WHY DID YOU CO-CHAIR?

DH: My heart and mind made me do it.
LC: I believe in Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Down Syndrome clinic was desperately needed here in Arizona. It is always fun working with Patricia Barney and Diane Hastings.

WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO PCH AND/OR THE DS CLINIC?

DH: My youngest daughter was born with a ventricular septal defect. She had open heart surgery at 4 months old at PCH. Our family is extremely grateful for the skilled medical staff that gave the very best care and love to our girl.
LC: My son, William, had open heart surgery for a VSD when he was 8 months old and again when he was 11 months old. We had a great experience with the professionalism of the entire staff at PCH.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE PEDIATRIC DOWNSYNDROME FACILITY?

DH: Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if it becomes a destination point for families from across the nation, looking for the very best medical care for their child with Down Syndrome.
LC: I would like every family who has a child with Down Syndrome to automatically think of the clinic when looking for resources to support the needs of their child. I would also like to see the program expanded to help transition the patients who have adult needs transition to an adult Down Syndrome clinic here in Phoenix.

WHY SHOULD SOMEONE BUY A TICKET THIS YEAR? IF THEY CANT COME HOW CAN THEY PARTICIPATE?

DH: Buy a ticket and you get to watch the most beautiful people, inside and out, model super cute clothes! Plus, you can shop the amazing auction items, eat a lovely meal and view the MIM. If you cannot make it this year, please consider making a donation to the clinic. You will be blessing so many families in need!
LC: You will not want to miss this event. The models are so excited to show off their abilities on the runway and never fail to entertain and inspire all who attend. We will have a great fashion show and silent auction. The community support to put on this event is incredible from Hastings & Hastings, Kohl’s, Rolf’s and Kendra Scott to name a few. If you cannot attend please consider making a donation.

ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD?

DH: The potential for people with Down syndrome is limitless. As recent as 30 years ago, most children with DS were placed into institutions. As awareness and education has increased in the US, so has the life span and IQ, of individuals with DS. Appropriate medical care, education, therapy and most importantly, love, care and nurturing from living at home, has allowed this to happen, just as it does with our typical children.
LC: Please consider attending the event or at the very least supporting the Down Syndrome clinic. We have worked hard to have a clinic here in Phoenix and would like every family with a member who has Down Syndrome to benefit. This is a great way to support our families impacted by Down syndrome.

To buy a ticket or for more information on the 2nd Annual Downright Beautiful Fashion Show benefiting the Pediatric Down Syndrome Clinic at Phoenix Children’s Hospital go to: www.DSFashionShow.org.