Local youths featured in video
Kelsey Anthony, 14, and Kyle Woomer, 12, of Northampton, were seen in the bright lights of Broadway on Sept. 22, as part of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) annual Times Square Video Presentation.
The event supports the NDSS mission to promote the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome.
The photo of Kelsey and Kyle, who have Down Syndrome, was selected from over 1,000 entries. The picture shows the pair at Penn State during the Special Olympics. The photo was used, along with others, to create a video shown on the News Corporation Sony Screen in Times Square.
Kyle attends Siegfried Elementary and Kelsey attends Northampton Area Middle School. Their moms, Cheryl Anthony and Kathy Woomer, have been friends for several years. The women have been submitting photos of their children for consideration in the event since 2007. This is the fourth time that Kelsey and Kyle have been chosen to be featured in the video.
The families traveled to New York City in 2007, the first year they were featured, so they could see the video presentation and participate in the annual New York City Buddy Walk which followed. Buddy Walks raise money and awareness for Down Syndrome. They also occur in selected cities during the month of October every year.
Kelsey recalled the 2007 New York City trip fondly, saying, "I loved it!" She said that visiting Times Square was her favorite part of the trip.
Kelsey is very active and loves dancing. She attends 3-D Dance in Northampton and her favorite class is hip hop. Both Kelsey and Kyle have participated in The Miracle League baseball program and Special Olympics.
Raising a child with Down Syndrome is not without its challenges but the experience can also be very rewarding.
"After the initial diagnosis, most people are concerned with the medical issues, but they have so much more potential. Every child is different and they never cease to amaze you." said Kathy.
Both moms agreed that it is important to treat children with Down Syndrome just like any other kid and expose them to a variety of experiences.
Cheryl also stressed the rewards of raising a Down Syndrome child. "They are so loving and giving. They don't judge you; they just accept you," she said.