'I Have a Voice' Gala date approaching

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I Have a Voice Gala

GiGi’s Playhouse Nashville, a Down Syndrome Achievement Center, will host its eighth annual gala Feb. 1. 

The “I Have a Voice” Gala and Auction is the largest fundraiser of the year for GiGi’s Playhouse and will once again be hosted at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville. Attendance is expected to surpass 400 guests.

Entertainment reporter and producer Jennifer Vickery Smith will serve as emcee, with program participants and GiGi’s Playhouse Ambassadors Tori McMahon and Sam Nafzger serving as her co-hosts. 

Sean Farrell, who is the father of a program participant, will be the keynote speaker. His keynote will be presented as a video, produced by Snapshot Interactive.

“Our program participants are changing the way the world sees Down syndrome,” GiGi’s Nashville Executive Director Carter Abel said. “I joined GiGi’s earlier this year and look forward to attending my first gala. I understand if you haven’t hit the dance floor with one of our program participants, you’ve been missing out. This is a wonderful way to celebrate the achievements of our participants and support the programs that help them participate actively in the community.”

The Brett Boyer Foundation has generously signed on as the platinum title sponsor for the gala. Brett Boyer was born in July 2016 with an extra chromosome and, like 50% of babies born with Down syndrome, with a congenital heart defect (CHD). Unlike most, his heart defect was not repairable. 

Her parents, Bo and Ellen, have chosen to celebrate the seven months they got to spend with their baby girl and to improve the lives of those living with Down syndrome and/or CHD in her memory. Their ongoing support of the Playhouse has helped keep the doors open and programs operational. 

“We are funded solely by donations and supported by hundreds of volunteers,” Abel said. “All our programs are free to our families. That’s possible because local individuals and companies support our mission of acceptance and empowerment for people with Down syndrome. We are so grateful for the community support that allows us to continue bringing joy, confidence and growth to our participants and their families.”  

Ticket sales are closed for the event, but donations are still being accepted, as are bids to the silent auction. Go to gigisplayhouse.org for more information.

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