April 2019

Safety First: Rock Supports first Responders


Rock the 21 helped sponsor an important community event - the Hoboken Fire Department's and Hoboken School District's full-day training for Fire, Police and EMS teams. The training prepared the first responders to effectively work with people who have varying degrees of abilities in the event of an emergency.  Parents and caregivers were invited for lunch and the afternoon session which focused on strategies for keeping individuals safe at home, school and in the community. There was great energy in the room while best practices were being shared and awareness raised! 

Helping caregivers develop a NUTRITION program that rocks

Rock the 21 hosted a free webinar led by Trisomy 21 Nutrition Specialist Gail Perrella M.S, C.N.S The online workshop highlighted how nutrition can help our loved ones with DS thrive physically, emotionally and cognitively. Click here for a list of quick nutrition trips. And for all our rockin’ moms, access an informational guide titled, The Bliss 21 Club Mama Guide, by clicking here.

March 2019

Rock the 21 honored with Community Award

Over the past two years, Rock the 21 has partnered with Hudson Milestones on several initiatives that enhance the quality of life for their clients with Down syndrome (DS) and other intellectual disabilities.  

From sponsoring the launch of their innovative after hours program, which provides adults with DS the opportunity to learn and participate in instructor-led dance classes, providing them with a fun activity that enhances their social and dance skills at the same time; to hosting annual DS awareness and celebration events for their clients to attend and participate in; to most recently providing a scholarship for a young woman with DS to attend their Day Habilitation program, ensuring she continues to have a fulfilling and enriched quality of life – Rock the 21 has enjoyed this rewarding partnership that’s helping to increase awareness about the contributions and fun, social activities that persons with DS contribute and participate in.

We were honored to recently attend Hudson Milestones’ Annual Gala, and receive their “Recognizing Excellence – Chandelier Charity Organization of the Year Award”. This award is presented annually to a community volunteer organization that actively supports individuals within Hudson Milestones’ program.

Thank you Hudson Milestones for the recognition! And, thank you to our Rock supporters! Without your help and contributions, meaningful partnerships with organizations like Hudson Milestones wouldn’t be possible.   

Another 3.21 in the books!

Annually, World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is observed on March 21st – a date formally recognized by the United Nations to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes DS.  This year, we celebrated 3.21 in style at the Elk’s Club, as we were joined by local families who all share one thing in common…a family member who rocks their 21st chromosome!  This annual event serves as a celebration, an informal support group, and another opportunity for us to strengthen community connections. Food, dancing, games and comradery made for a memorable evening.

Read below to see how some of our supporters from near and far rocked the day away!

  • Caitlyn Marchesani, a Rock supporter, participated in the National Down Syndrome Society’s (NDSS) “virtual’ racing event. The event encouraged participants to run, walk, bike, hike, swim and/or move for 3.21 miles at any time, any place and at any pace to celebrate WDSD and raise awareness for the DS community. Caitlyn and her team donated their proceeds to the NDSS and didn’t let the rain on 3.21 stop them from trekking from “the Bull, over the Brooklyn Bridge, to Barclay’s”!

  • Led by Rachel Bello, Aunt to Rocker Alicia, the Carlstadt NJ Education Association hosted a WDSD rock your crazy socks fundraiser in honor of Rock the 21. By wearing colorful, spirited socks, they educated their fellow teachers and students about DS, and helped spread the message we are all more alike than different.

  • For the second year in a row, employees at Newport Vineyards in Newport, RI, rocked their crazy socks on 3.21! Organized by Rock supporter, Allison Wilke, the team at Newport Vineyards has made celebrating WDSD an annual tradition. The crazy socks sparked conversation and raised awareness among all who visited the Vineyard on 3.21. All proceeds were generously donated to Rock the 21.

  • Finally, Rockin’ Socks events continued west with employees from Kingdom Capital in St. Louis, MO, including Rockin’ Aunt Michelle Hackmann, sporting their most fashionable, rocking socks.

How did you celebrate WDSD? Send us your story at rockthe21ds@gmail.com.

February 2019

Creating Community

Rock the 21 was lead sponsor at Hoboken Special Needs Parents Group’s first Support & Resource Fair. This event was an incredible opportunity for families to discover locally available services for their loved one with special needs. Everything from sports classes and respite care, to doctors and therapists who all focus on persons with special needs were there to communicate resources and best practices to attendees. Throughout the afternoon, there were short presentations by special education professionals and a self-advocate. All those who attended walked away feeling empowered and supported by a connected community.

The highlight of the day for the Rock the 21 team was meeting a family with a six-week-old baby girl with DS. Her parents heard Rock the 21 was going to be in attendance at the fair, and they traveled from another county to get connected, find support, and learn as much as they could about this new journey they had embarked on. With your help, we continue to fulfill our mission in meaningful ways.

January 2019

Meet Adikalie

Adikalie is pictured with his mom and Rock family members, Chris and Caden High.

Adikalie is pictured with his mom and Rock family members, Chris and Caden High.

Adikalie, a nine-year-old boy with DS living in Sierra Leone, Africa, is the newest member of our Rock family.  As part of our Rock the World initiative, Rock is sponsoring Adikalie to ensure receives critical physical and occupational therapies, as well as much-needed financial assistance towards school fees, supplies, and a uniform.

If you’d like to join Rock the 21 in improving the lives of children with DS in Sierra Leone, please consider sponsoring a child. For just $44 a month, you can ensure a child with DS will receive a caseworker, therapeutic services, and specialized equipment. To learn more and view pictures of the children, please click here.