MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – In an effort to make the world a more welcoming place, GiGi’s Playhouse Madison, a success center for people with Down Syndrome, hosted its first-ever GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge Dash for Down Syndrome.

Saturday’s event took place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and featured a 5k run, a mile walk, a kids’ run and a community festival. In addition to hosting the festivities, GiGi’s Playhouse raised funds to provide free educational, therapeutic and career development programs to more than 350 area families.

Over 200 participants and 40-50 volunteers joined in the fun and together raised $35,000 at the event, which was $10,000 more than the goal for the playhouse.

GiGi’s Playhouse board member Kelly Antonson said she was thrilled with the support from the community, especially in the rainy weather.

“We had incredible community support. We had 37 teams signed up and as Julie said we have over 400 people signed up. We had in-person registrations today even with the weather, so we are very grateful to the whole community.

To learn more about GiGi’s Playhouse or to donate, visit

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