Step Up for Down Syndrome 2022 crowd picture - Thank You!

Step Up for Down Syndrome 2022


2022 Sponsors

Welcome to DSGPWNY!

Families. Self-advocates. Friends.

Through DSPG (Down Syndrome Parents Group), we work 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!

If you would prefer to mail your donation, please make a check out to “DSPG” and send to 547 Englewood Avenue, Kenmore, NY 14223. Thank you for your support!

Step Up for Down Syndrome Yard Signs for Sale – $10

Get yours today for $10!  Signs are 24 x 18.

Contact Gretchen at gretchen.w@dspgwny or Order yours at:


Reed/Jenns Embrace the Difference Bracelets to Benefit the DSPG.


• Limited quantity  •  Great gift • 

Buy yours today at

For more information contact Lisa Brydges at or 716-510-8206.



Eric Hetzelt Memorial Scholarship Winner

We proudly announce our 2021 winner of the Eric Hetzelt Memorial Scholarship, Zachary Winnicki. Zachary has been chosen for his many years of volunteer service to our organization. Thank you and Congratulations!

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 June 1 each year.

Down Syndrome Headlines from Around the Web…


Thanks for visiting!