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BGCDSO Families

End of 2023 Wrap Up!

By BGCDSO Families
What a year 2023 has been! Every year since Covid, we have gotten stronger as a community. Our membership has increased, our events have more members engaged, our fundraising efforts have increased, and we see the growth of each of our Down syndrome superstars!
This year has brought some new changes as well. Our office location moved from Coral Springs to Plantation in April. We are now more central for our members and have a larger office space to hold meetings and events. Our SU4DS Walk location changed within Markham Park, we put our heads together and planned every new detail to ensure its success, and it paid off! This has been one of our highest fundraising years!
We formed new partnerships with our Walk sponsors, who have been instrumental in adding ways to help BGCDSO grow. We’ve added a monthly Read-Along event, which allows our DS members to have a night together, and our Coffee and Conversation group, so our parents can have a couple of hours of adult conversation. Sharing moments and experiences give us hope that things are okay even when they are hard, and that we as a community, are not alone in this journey.
We are so appreciative of all our Members, Volunteers, our Group Coordinators, Community Members, Sponsors, and our Board and Staff for all the hard work and due diligence that is put into all you do to help support our organization! We truly could not be successful without you! We look forward to a Happy & Healthy 2024!

Welcome our new Executive Assistant, MaryBeth Gebbia to Broward Gold Coast family!

By BGCDSO Families, News

Hello! My name is MaryBeth Gebbia. My husband, Alfonso, and I have been married 13 years. I am the mother of two beautiful daughters, Charlotte, 11 and Sophia, 8. Although, I was born in Florida, I grew up in Philadelphia where I attended Temple University and got my Bachelor’s in Science in Education. I returned to Florida after graduation in 2002, and I started my teaching career. I worked for the School Board of Broward County for 15 years, teaching various elementary grades. I resigned in 2017, after the congenital foot disorder I was born with, bi-lateral clubfeet, caused me excruciating pain on a daily basis. I am now a Stay-at-Home-Mom, who is an active member of the PTA. I continue my love of teaching by tutoring, and mentoring. I enjoy cooking, gardening, singing, and spending as much time as possible with my family. I look forward to working with this wonderful organization and utilizing my organizational skills to help the Board have another successful year.

World Down Syndrome Day – March 21st

By BGCDSO Families, Community Events, Community Resource, Events, Fundraising
Down syndrome community across the world will join together on March 21st to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD).  Together we raise awareness, advocate for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome.  One way that you can get involved is by joining the #LotsOfSocks campaign. Take a look into your socks drawer for those mismatched, craziest, or most colorful socks. Get your family and friends to join in the fun
We have limited edition socks for sale, especially designed for Broward Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization.  Rock our awesome socks with us for World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), presale order is starting now!
Check out matching Pins, T-Shirt, along with WDSD wristbands.  Take a look at each photo for more details.
Go to our website at Don’t forget to select your size.
You can stop by our office in Coral Springs pickup your order, or we can mail it to you.  It’s first come first serve basis on the shirt sizes.
Thanks in advance for supporting our organization and help spread awareness.

Covid-19 vaccine for people with Down syndrome

By BGCDSO Families, Community Events, Community Resource, Events, News

Today is the day to make our voice heard! Please contact Governor DeSantis and your local legislators to make people with Down syndrome on a priority list of receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. You can call the Governor’s Office at (850) 717-9337.

Use #AShotAtTheShot to help make your voice heard on social media, and on Twitter @flgovRonDeSantis @MarcoRubio @scottforflorida @repbartleman

We respect the right of every family to make their own health decisions. We are not recommending the vaccine; we are simply advocating to ensure our community has access to all the valuable resources and services available.

Thank you for your support!


By BGCDSO Families, Community Events, Community Resource, Events, News



Broward Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization along with several Down syndrome support groups across the state of Florida are hosting a Down syndrome statewide call in; text; and post on social media, on Thursday, January 28th regarding COVID-19 vaccines and people with Down syndrome.  Please join us in our efforts by contacting your elected officials today.

Use #AShotAtTheShot to help make your voice heard!  @RonDeSantisFlorida @MarcoRubio @scottforflorida

The CDC has added Down syndrome to the list of high risk medical conditions and recommends priority in vaccination for COVID-19.

We respect the right of every family to make their own health decisions.  We are not recommending the vaccine; we are simply advocating to ensure our community has access to all the valuable resources and services available.

Thank you for your support!

Greetings from Broward Gold Coast Executive Director, Bach Todaro

By BGCDSO Families, Community Events, Community Resource, New Parents Resource, News
Dear Friends,
2020 has been a different kind of year for all of us, it’s been such a whirlwind of ups & downs with so much that we have learned from. We can now start to see light at the end of the tunnel as we are starting a new year with hope and health in 2021.
Here are a few important reminders and updates:
– Expectant/New Parent: If you are expectant or new parent of a baby with Down syndrome, congratulations!????? Contact us at for your New Parent package. We have “Babies with Down syndrome” books in English and Spanish, along with medical resources waiting for your family. You don’t have to sail this journey alone; we are here to help.
– Med Waiver: If your child with Down syndrome is 3 years old or older and is not on the Medicaid Waiver, make sure to apply for his/her as soon as possible as there is a long wait list at the Agency of Persons with Disabilities (APD). Florida Medicaid waiver will provide services to those with intellectual disabilities. Many people who quality is not even aware of eligibility. The waiver is applicable to all ages. Go to for more details and to apply.
– Guardianship: By law, parents of an adult child with special needs can no longer make medical or financial decisions for them once they turned 18 years old. Therefore, preparing for their transition is crucial. You can contact Stephanie Schneider at for more detail.
– Social Security: If your son/daughter is 18 years old, they are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are federal programs that provide assistance to eligible children and adults with disabilities.
– Broward Gold Coast Membership: Our membership for 2021 will be available soon for your renewal at, stay tuned for our email of any changes in the membership. As always, your membership has to be current before you RSVP to any social events, or request for the scholarship.
– SU4DS Walk & 5K Run 2021: As you are aware, our 2020 SU4DS Walk & 5K Run has been postponed to March 20, 2021 at Markham Park. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are subjected to many restrictions such as: 50% of capacity, no shelter, no electrical outlets available, 6ft social distancing, marks requirements, etc. Markham Park is also one of the testing sites for COVID-19. We as the board have decided to delay our event to October 10th, 2021. We are hoping and praying by then we can all be safely getting together in person.
We wish you and your family a happy and healthy new year!
Bach Todaro, Executive Director

October Down Syndrome Awareness Month-Day 31!

By BGCDSO Families, Events
Day 31 of October National Down Syndrome Awareness Month! We are celebrating people with Down syndrome by sharing our local individuals with Down syndrome every day this month with their stories. Help spread awareness, acceptance, and meaningful inclusion in schools and community!??
Kysean was so excited, he was able to vote. He turned 18 on June 20, 2020. We registered him right a way so that he could vote. Everyday he was checking the mailbox for his voters card. Kysean was so excited when he received voters card. He was showing his voters card to all of the family and friends. He went as far as vocing his concerns that if you don’t vote no changes will be made.
This is from his teacher “Patrice Wilson”:
Kysean is the self-proclaimed “King of Hallandale High School”. He is a member of Hallandale’s Best Buddies program. Kysean can often be seen lending a helping hand to his peers and staff. He is very welcoming and friendly to new students and likes to ease their fears about being in a new environment. He is the life of any party and is often leading dance battles during lunch and socializing with all students. Kysean has become an integral part of the school’s coffee shop. He greet customers (mainly staff) and can be counted on to secure tips. Kysean is very positive and inspirational to all he encounters.
Yoli Garcia-Thompson