Click HERE to become a member

 To make a donation, please click on the button below or send a check made out to DSPG and send to 547 Englewood Avenue, Kenmore, NY 14223. Thanks!

DSPG seeks to raise awareness of Down syndrome while enhancing the lives of people with Down syndrome. The organization’s informational and social events provide a broad range of opportunities for families to support and encourage each other. We provide this Website as a continually expanding resource for those affected by Down syndrome in the Western New York area. Please check back often for event updates and more. And don’t forget to “Like” us on facebook, and follow us on twitter for all of the latest DSPG news and happenings!

June Raffle Calendar Winners

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Events Cancelled Through End of April

All scheduled Down Syndrome Parents Group activities are cancelled through end of April. We will be rescheduling our full day speaker on Speech Intelligibility, Libby Kumin, for later this year.  Our next New Family Social is scheduled for May 30 at Bornhava from 9:30-11:00. Should we need to cancel this date we will send an email out ahead of time.  Unfortunately, Young Athletes is cancelled for the remainder of the spring season.  We were notified that all Special Olympic activities are suspended through the end of May.  We know it is disappointing for our families that participate in the annual Spring Games and many other Special Olympic events.

We hope that everyone is staying healthy and that we will be able to come together soon.

 Take care,
From the DSPG Board of Directors

Down Syndrome Parents Group of WNY Eric Hetzelt Memorial Scholarship Winners

We proudly announce our first two winners of the Eric Hetzelt Memorial Scholarship. Jimmy Poreda was awarded the 2017 scholarship for his many years of service to the DSPG. The 2018 award goes to Caitlyn Zon who has also given much time to help out at our events. Congratulations Jimmy and Katilyn!

The WNY Down Syndrome community lost a great role model and the world lost a genuinely good man on December 30, 2015 with the sudden passing of 37 year old Eric Hetzelt.  Eric was an inspiration to all who met him and proved that “disability” can equal “capability”.

Eric was an accomplished athlete in swimming, bowling and baseball. He had a longtime involvement in Special Olympics, both as an athlete, and as a coach.  Eric also participated in Challenged Athletes Participating in Sports, WNY (C.A.P.S.)  He was an avid fan and supporter of all the Buffalo sports teams.   Eric was also involved in the community as well as an usher at his church. Additionally, he worked part time behind the deli counter at the Wegmans on Alberta Drive for over 16 years.

Eric was a devoted son to Carol and Erwin Hetzelt, and loving brother to his three sisters and a fun, loving uncle to their children.  His mother, Carol Hetzelt was the driving force, a true trailblazer in the formation of the Down Syndrome Parents Group of WNY.  It was after Eric was born, that she recognized the significant lack of support and information for parents who have children with Down syndrome.  It was her initiative that connected parents, health care professionals and community members together to share knowledge, and create awareness and acceptance for our children.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS include a completed application with essay, minimum of 20 registered and verified volunteer hours throughout the four years of high school at various Down Syndrome Parents Group of WNY events, a letter of recommendation and a high school transcript.   This scholarship is for a full-time student at a vocational, 2-year, 4-year or graduate institution in the amount of $1000.   Deadline for applications is May 1 each year.

We Celebrated World Down Syndrome Day in Style!

click here to view photos

Hope you can join as next year for a bigger, better celebration at Santoras…Here are some links to the media coverage we received.

Channel 2 –

Spectrum –

Channel 7 –


Down Syndrome Headlines from Around the Web…

Thanks for visiting!


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