Publish date:

Don't miss your chance to help individuals with Down syndrome in the Twin Cities

Ticket sales for this one-of-a-kind gala are closing soon.

One of the most challenging parts of charitable giving is that you don’t get to see where your dollars are going, or how they help real people.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. And in fact, it’s possible to not only see the difference you’re making up close, but also have a great time doing it.

That’s the "I Have a Voice" gala, happening February 9, 2019 at the historic Depot at the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, and ticket sales are closing soon.

Hosted by GiGi’s Playhouse, a non-profit organization working to change the way the world views Down syndrome, the gala is a night of fun, inspiration, and empowerment — not to mention your chance to help individuals with Down syndrome right here in the Twin Cities.

But what does that really mean, and who will the gala be helping? Let Danyela, the mom of 18-year-old GiGi’s alum Anthony explain.

‘Life-changing education and support’

“My son Anthony was 7 years old the first time we walked through the doors of a GiGi’s Playhouse,” Danyela says, explaining that they’d taken a family trip from Iowa to help the GiGi’s location in Chicago celebrate their third anniversary.

“It was just one visit, but it truly touched our hearts forever… we felt celebrated, welcomed, and loved,” Danyela says.

And the effects on Anthony were dramatic, as he was inspired to try riding a pony, which had previously been a fear of his. He would eventually go on to participate in a local horse therapy program for the next three years.

GiGi’s Playhouse (whose locations deliver free educational and career development programs for people with Down syndrome and their families) would come into Anthony’s life again, when the family moved back to their home state of Minnesota.

While initially concerned that her son might have gotten too old for the program, Danyela’s worries were quickly put to rest.

“I have since learned – it’s never too late,” she says.

Anthony is a GiGi's Playhouse Alum and Special Olympian.  

Anthony is a GiGi's Playhouse Alum and Special Olympian.  

Now a junior in high school, Anthony has been involved in health and social skills classes at GiGi’s, has taken to dancing “many hours straight” on Teen Nights, and has also participated in the Special Olympics with “Team G” (to name just a few of his many activities in the program).

“My favorite part, as his mom, is watching the smile grow on his face when he knows he gets to go to GiGi’s — a place where he knows he belongs,” Danyela said.

Time is running out

With ticket sales closing on Friday, Feb. 1, there’s not much time left to take part in this unique opportunity to help. As of this writing, there’s five days left to reserve your seat — but do it soon, because spots are filling up fast.

Purchase a ticket and RSVP at the link below.

Buy tickets right here (Individual tickets and tables are available)

We can't wait to see you there!

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-10-15 at 10.01.55 PM

Police still searching for suspect who opened fire at Plymouth movie theater

It sparked a partial evacuation of the Emagine Willow Creek theater.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, October 18

Hospitalizations have surpassed 1,000 in the latest update.

Gully Boys van stolen Twitter pic 1

Mpls. band Gully Boys' van stolen, with all their gear inside

They're asking Twin Cities residents to be on the lookout for the silver van.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

2 girls from St. Cloud injured in ATV crash

Neither girl was wearing a helmet, the sheriff's office said.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins has turned into a late-game killer for the Vikings

Cousins has given the Vikings a chance to tie or win the game 7 times in 6 games.

john oliver

Watch: The absurd ad 'Last Week Tonight' wrote for a MN car dealership

Host John Oliver described the commercial as a "tense domestic psychodrama."

Car driving

Minnesota is on track for the most road deaths since 2007

Minnesota has recorded 384 traffic deaths as of Oct. 14.


1 dead, 1 airlifted following Goodhue County crash

The crash happened around 6:15 a.m. Sunday.

railroad crossing, train crossing

Woman found dead on train tracks in Moorhead

The woman was located by officials on train tracks near Memorial Park Sunday morning.

police tape, crime scene

Search for killer after man is fatally shot in Hopkins

The shooting was reported around 7:40 p.m. Sunday.

skylar hunter and jamie hunter

Victims in double killing ID'd as father and son; suspect was son's roommate

A man killed his roommate and his roommate's father early Saturday in St. Louis County, authorities said.


Kayla McKeon

Wage discrimination against Down syndrome workers is real, and needs to end

A call to action was issued at the annual GiGi's Playhouse fundraising gala.

Woman will be first with Down syndrome to compete in Miss Minnesota USA Pageant

She applied and got accepted, saying: "And that is all I wanted ... to be accepted."

Woman will be first with Down syndrome to compete in Miss Minnesota USA Pageant

She applied and got accepted, saying: "And that is all I wanted ... to be accepted."