DSAMT Awards

DSAMT recognizes individuals whose extraordinary efforts exemplify the values and vision of our organization and contribute to the acceptance, inclusion and appreciation of individuals with Down syndrome.

Mollie Burd Gavigan was a dear friend and support to DSAMT and the Down syndrome community. When her daughter Jeanne was born with Down syndrome, Mollie was determined to provide her with a Catholic education, so Mollie helped to establish the Hand in Hand program for children with cognitive disabilities at Pope John Paul II High School in Hendersonville. Mollie was a strong advocate for the Down syndrome community, and her support greatly benefited DSAMT.

In honor of Mollie’s legacy, DSAMT created the Mollie Gavigan Service Award to recognize outstanding service to the Down syndrome community

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The Phyllis Gall Grandparent Award to recognizes outstanding service to the Down syndrome community.  A tremendous supporter of DSAMT, Phyllis was grandmother of Ron Talbott and mother of our executive director, Alecia Talbott.  Sadly, we lost Phyllis in 2014 after a very long, hard-fought battle with cancer.  However, she continues to give back to our organization everyday through "Phyllis' Angel Babies Program," an initiative of the Music City Quilt Guild, of which Phyllis was a long-standing member.   Through this program, guild members make beautiful, one-of-a-kind, hand-made quilts for DSAMT.  The quilts are given as part of the Celebration Bag to welcome families with newborns into our community throughout the state.

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The Founders' Award is given to a Parent Mentor who exemplifies the vision set by our founders (Elise McMillan, Sheila Moore and Joanne Drumright).  It was their goal to be a support to families when they receive the diagnosis of Down syndrome, to celebrate the birth with them and to help them throughout their journey. 

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Being a volunteer for DSAMT is an important job.  DSAMT has a very small staff and relies heavily on our community volunteers to make the magic happen.  The hard part about this award is in picking just one volunteer each year to recognize because there are so very many who do so much.  We thank all our volunteers who make our such a huge difference in the lives of those with "something extra" every day!

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The Self-Advocate of the Year Award was established to recognize an individual with Down syndrome (age 16+) who, through their everyday activities, creates public awareness and understanding of individuals with Down syndrome and whose passion exemplifies the values and vision of DSAMT.  The award is given annually at DSAMT's 3.21 World Down Syndrome Awareness Day Celebration Event.

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