Moline nonprofit part of nationwide effort to complete 7 million steps for Down syndrome acceptance

Local News
Gigi's Playhouse

On Saturday, June 6, GiGi’s Playhouse in Moline will be one of 60 locations and startups nationwide to take to streets, parks, bike trails and basement treadmills during the Steps to Accept Challenge.

The challenge invites supporters of acceptance in all of its forms to join the effort of amassing 7 million steps — what the organization says is enough steps to span the entire United States — by signing up online.

“This goes beyond individuals with Down syndrome. We’ve been fighting for acceptance since we first conceived GiGi’s Playhouse in 2002, and we aren’t alone in that struggle,” said GiGi’s Playhouse Founder and Chief Belief Officer Nancy Gianni. “Every step matters because every life matters, which is why our initial goal is 7 million steps, but we would love to hit 50 million steps, which is the amount of steps to walk around the world spreading our message of acceptance.”

The organization says funds raised through the challenge will enable them to continue their mission of providing “life-changing, therapeutic and educational programming” for more than 25,000 individuals with Down syndrome — including GiGi’s At Home Virtual Programming, launched within days of the organization closing 48 of its locations nationwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

GiGi’s Step to Accept Challenge is scheduled to commence 11 a.m. on June 6. Following warm-ups and inspirational remarks, the step-off will begin at 11:15 a.m. Those interested in registering or making a donation can do so here.

Teams and individual participants are welcome. Registration is $21 per adult and $10 for children 12 and under. Free access to Virtual Coaching and the Strava fitness tracking app for monitoring and recording steps is available through the website.

More information about GiGi’s Playhouse is available here.

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