A kickoff rally to raise money and awareness for Drive For Downs will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 8 at Gullivers Pizza & Pub, 17W517 Roosevelt Road, Oakbrook Terrace. The rally is a cash bar event with appetizers provided and a suggested donation of $20 per person/couple for the event.
Drive for Downs is the brainchild of Elmhurst resident Scott LaMorte to raise money and awareness for the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation. LaMorte will drive United States Route 66, known as the “Mother Road,” in his fund-raising effort. His eight-day trip will begin in May from near the start of Route 66 outside of Chicago and conclude at the end of Route 66 in Santa Monica, Calif.
LaMorte, the father of Emma, a 6-year-old with Down syndrome, has setup a website at www.drivefordowns.com to detail his journey. He provides a blog on the website detailing his preparations for the trip and will blog during the trip in May with stories and photos from his various encounters and stops along the way.
LaMorte says of his idea for the Drive for Downs, “The notion of dads going on drives is part of American nostalgia. This fund-raiser captures the spirit of the traditional American driving vacation where families piled into station wagons and fathers drove across the country’s highways all across our nation.
“I am basically an ordinary dad who will make an extraordinary drive across America in support of the greater Down Syndrome community.”
Donations for the Drive For Downs can be made online at www.drivefordowns.com, with funds for the event going to the DSRTF. The DSRTF has become the leading non-governmental source of funding in the United States for research to improve cognition in individuals with Down syndrome. Since its founding in 2004, the organization has generated more than $9 million to fund and support major new results-driven cognition research.
For more information, photos or interview opportunities please contact Scott LaMorte at (630) 649-9978.