MCC to raise awareness for Down syndrome

As a parent of a child with Down syndrome, Roger Brown said there’s plenty he wants the public to know about the disability.

He’ll get his chance Saturday night as he is organizing a Down syndrome awareness event during the Marshalltown Community College men’s basketball game against Indian Hills.

The game is at 7 p.m. at the Student Activity Center at MCC. Tickets will be available at the door for $10 each, with half of the proceeds going to Down syndrome support and awareness programs locally. Children 12 and under will be admitted free to the game.

“I’m super excited about it,” Brown said. “I hope people will show up and come to the game.”

Brown, of Conrad, has a daughter, Isabelle, 9, who has Down syndrome.

He came up with the idea for this awareness night while talking with MCC Coach Brynjar Brynjarsson.

“It’s about community connections,” Brynjarsson said. “It’s very important for us to reach back into the community that supports us.”

There will be special events throughout the night in conjunction with GiGi’s Playhouse, a support organization from Des Moines for families who are affected by Down syndrome. There will be a display with photographs of children with Down’s, photo opportunities, autograph sessions and a chance to cheer with the cheerleaders.

Brynjarsson said he expects a fun night with plenty of smiles throughout the gym.

“I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for our players to be a part of something and see the joy on kids’ faces,” he said.

Brown said one in 691 babies are born with Down syndrome. He said he wants to tell people just because they have what is considered to be a disability, they don’t have to let it stop them.

“Each of the kids has the potential to learn and grow,” he said.

Brown also wants families of those with Down syndrome to come together to realize the support that is in place.

“They are not alone,” he said.

Brown is also accepting donations for the cause and can be reached at 641-751-2848. He is the owner of Iowa River Brewing in Marshalltown and will give 50 percent discount on pints at his brewery next week for those with a game ticket.

For more information on the the game, contact the MCC athletic department at 641-844-5670.

Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or