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“i have a voice” Event Builds Momentum Through Major Donors

Atlanta corporations unite to raise funding for GiGi’s Playhouse Atlanta, the Midtown area free therapeutic center empowering independence for kids with T21.

The third annual “i have a voice” gala to be held on Saturday, Feb. 2 at downtown's The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta, has reached its first benchmark through the commitment of $150,000 in fundraising efforts for GiGi’s Playhouse Atlanta.

The free therapeutic center in the heart of the Midtown area in the Amsterdam Walk district provides several free early intervention programs that empower young Atlantans with T21 (formerly Down syndrome) to live independent lives.

Seeing the value of this center, more than 23 corporate sponsors have allocated funds to support 2013’s programming including Accenture, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, FrigoGlass, Kantar and PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. 

GiGi’s Playhouse Atlanta has impacted the lives of more than 170 individuals with T21 and hopes to use the funds generated by the 2013 gala to reach even more individuals. The free program’s ultimate goal is to have five centers across the greater metropolitan Atlanta area to help meet local needs.

“We are on our way to a successful gala, but more help is needed,” Jennifer Gaffney, gala chair for GiGi’s Playhouse, said in a release. “It costs $640 to support a child for one year at the Playhouse. That support manifests in teaching a child to read, who would otherwise lag behind peers. Or to walk, taking steps toward a normal life. People who believe in us, like our host Mayor [Kasim] Reed, pave the way for more early intervention for our kids. Our business model is totally self-sustaining: one employee, 200 volunteers. We must open more centers to help families to combat the hurdles that T21 presents. Each basic T21 issue can be tackled, and lead the way to normal lives. That’s our mission and we are unwavering in it.”

With Mayor Reed serving as the honorary host and WSB-TV’s anchor Justin Farmer returning as the emcee, the evening is destined to provide guests an event filled with a new view of the condition.

Added Adrienne Mulligan, president of GiGi’s Playhouse Atlanta: “It’s invigorating to see the Atlanta community coming together to support early intervention and education supplements, provided for free, so these kids can reach their full potential. We’re so thankful to our corporate community, and look forward to expanding the base of donors to increase our service to children with T21.”

To get involved in this year’s gala, sponsorship, tickets or volunteer efforts, visit: www.gigisatlanta.com.

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