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Fraser Valley Down Syndrome Society faces funding crisis

16-year-old Abbotsford-based organization says it is in danger of closing
The Fraser Valley Down Syndrome Society, which holds a fundraising awareness walk in Abbotsford each year, is in desperate needs of funds to keep the organization running. (Abbotsford News file photo)

An Abbotsford-based organization that provides programs to families of children with Down syndrome in the Fraser Valley is facing a funding crisis.

The volunteer-run Fraser Valley Down Syndrome Society (FVDSS) says it is in danger of closing due to some of its funding sources drying up.

Sylvie Fraser of the FVDSS said the agency requires $42,000 for 2023 to cover programs, as well as lease payments and insurance for its centre on McCallum Road in Abbotsford.

Its funding through the years has come through donations and grants, but Fraser said “financial challenges posed by the current economy” have resulted in that money being in short supply.

“The society has reached a critical point where it will likely close down if new sources of support are not secured,” she said in a message to members.

Fraser said money they have not been successful in obtaining this year includes through government community gaming grants.

RELATED: Walk for Down Syndrome Awareness

The FVDSS has been operating for 16 years and currently serves 45 families in Abbotsford, 11 in Mission, 14 in Chilliwack, and 15 in Langley and Maple Ridge.

The organization provides programs in fine motor skills, gross motor skills and music therapy, as well as a play group for young children and social and emotional programs for teens and adults.

The FVDSS also provides information and support for parents, including visiting new parents in hospitals or their homes after the birth of their child.

“We know that our families appreciate and need the services that the FVDSS provided, and it would be a shame to see it shut down after serving the Fraser Valley for 16 years,” Fraser said.

Some of the money the organization raises each year is through its Walk for Down Syndrome Awareness. This year’s walk takes place Saturday, April 29 at 10 a.m. at Mill Lake in Abbotsford.

Visit to register for the walk or to make a donation to the organization. Fraser said anyone who can help in any way is also welcome to contact or call 604-853-5563.

RELATED: Lily and the lake: How a young B.C. girl with Down syndrome swam to her dream

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Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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