(SAVANNAH, GA) Do you know a business that deserves recognition for hiring workers with different abilities? If so, here is your chance to recognize them.

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) is seeking nominations for its 14th annual Night of Champions on Friday, May 12, 2023, from 6-11pm at The Savannah Convention Trade Center on Hutchinson Island. The multifaceted event includes recognition of some of the area’s outstanding employers of differently abled people, and the public is invited to nominate businesses for this recognition.

Employee nominations may be completed online at https://ldssga.org/night-of-champions and will remain open until March 22nd.

Meanwhile, the LDSS reminds people that the event is more than an awards ceremony. It is a showcase for what can happen when employers are open to the idea of including differently abled people in their workforce. Besides hearing the success stories from the honored businesses, attendees will learn first-hand about the rewards resulting from inclusive hiring. They can also leave the event with contacts of potential employees.

“It is hard to convince a human resources director to hire somebody with special needs, so we have the Night of Champions. It is the recognition for employers but it is also a chance for them to show other potential employers the difference people with special needs can make in the workplace,” said Joe Marchese, president of LDSS.

He recalled a Night of Champions a few years ago where Chris Smith, owner of several Five Guys Burgers & Fries, attended and ended up hiring five differently abled people that evening, and where dermatologist Dr. Sydney Smith also hired several people.

The evening will include a recognition ceremony, a silent auction benefiting LDSS and a cash bar. Dessert, coffee, the conclusion of the silent auction, and a hiring expo will be held in the entry salon of the Trade Center immediately following dinner. Please plan on staying to meet and mingle with our past Champions and perhaps hire a future Champion!

“The success of Night of Champions is directly tied to local organizations that create opportunities for people to demonstrate their desire to work and make valued contributions to their community,” Marchese said. “The achievements of these champions in the workforce inspire more local organizations to take up the mission to light the way.”

LDSS is seeking sponsors to support Night of Champions as it raises money to sustain the programs it offers throughout the year, including Camp Buddy for children with Down syndrome, its annual Buddy Walk in Forsyth Park and its monthly support meetings for the families and friends of individuals with Down syndrome.

To become a Night of Champions sponsor, to donate an item for the silent auction or to reserve tickets, visit https://nightofchampions.org. Individual tickets are $100 and tables of ten can be reserved for $1,000. If you’d like to sponsor a past Champion and other guests, two additional tickets can be purchased at the time of reservation. If you’d like a past Champion to sit with you at your table, please let us know. For additional information, email info@ldssga.org.

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) supports people with Down syndrome and their families through local leadership, support, outreach, education and advocacy. Meetings are held every third Thursday of the month, typically with a guest speaker and social time for families to meet and interact. LDSS encourages the whole family to attend; children of all ages are welcome. LDSS is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society. For more information about LDSS, visit http://www.ldssga.org/

Joe Marchese
Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.

Scroll to Top