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UPDATE (Sept. 18, 2023): With one day to go until Peyton Larson turns 10 years old, she continues to raise funds for DSAW.

Her fundraising event on Saturday brought in much-appreciated donations.

“We had a good day on Saturday…we had nearly $1,300 dropped in our fundraising bucket and we’re at $1,300 in online donations…so a total of $2,600 so far,” says Amy Larson, Peyton’s mom.

The Down Syndrome advocates hope to collect $400 to reach their $3,000 goal. 

“We’re hoping to make it by Saturday,” says Amy.

Saturday is the official walk for DSAW happening in Milwaukee.

Donations can be made online.

Browse the photos from this year’s event below.

Peyton Larson’s favorite drink is lemonade. Is there a better way to celebrate turning 10 than by hosting a fundraiser with one of your favorite things? – Credit: Amy Larson

Orginal story (Sept. 14, 2023): RACINE, MILWAUKEE COUNTIES — Peyton Larson, an individual with Down Syndrome, is turning 10 years old on Sept. 19. In honor of her birthday, she and her family, are raising money for the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin (DSAW), a cause near and dear to their hearts.

For the fourth consecutive year, they are hosting a lemonade stand as a way to raise funds for the organization that supports Wisconsin families and individuals who have Down Syndrome.

An unexpected diagnosis

Amy Larson, Peyton’s mom, told the Racine County Eye that they did not know of their daughter’s diagnosis prior to her being born. It was a surprise they encountered at birth.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends offering the option of screening tests and diagnostic tests for Down syndrome to all pregnant women, regardless of age.
• Screening tests can indicate the likelihood or chances that a mother is carrying a baby with Down syndrome. But these tests can’t tell for sure or diagnose whether the baby has Down syndrome.
• Diagnostic tests can identify or diagnose whether your baby has Down syndrome.

Testing includes in the first trimester a combined test, which is done in two steps including:

  1. Blood test
  2. Nuchal translucency test
Mayo Clinic website

“We knew we were having a girl. And so we thought, ‘We’ve got this as parents. We’ve got two daughters. What’s a third one?'” explained Peyton’s mom.

While unexpected, the family has come a long way since the diagnosis.

“A little overwhelming and a little scary” were the feelings Amy described when she first found out about Peyton’s diagnosis.

Peyton Larson lemonade stand
The lemonade stand in 2021 is set up and ready for customers. – Credit: Amy Larson

“It was a bit scary because, at that point in our lives, we knew no one with Down Syndrome. We knew no families with Down Syndrome. And you know 10 years ago, the information we got was very disappointing,” she said.

At that point in their lives, the future was full of uncertainty for their youngest.

The family was introduced to DSAW and a world of helpful information and support unfolded allowing them to educate themselves and learn about the resources available to them.

“My daughter can’t advocate for herself, so we as a family need to do all of the advocating for her when it comes to health concerns, educational concerns, and then eventually with Peyton when she gets older, life skills and job skills,” said her mom. “People with Down Syndrome can live fulfilling lives.”

Peyton’s family gives back

Peyton Larson lemonade stand
Members of the Caledonia Fire Department stopped by for a refreshing glass of lemonade for Peyton’s eighth birthday in 2021. – Credit: Amy Larson

Now, the family is on a mission to give back to the organization that’s given so much to them.

This includes raising funds through a yearly lemonade stand with funds going to Peyton’s Peanut Gallery race team for the 27th annual DSAW statewide Down Syndrome Awareness walk.

As Peyton inches closer to double digits, the family’s awareness and connection to Down Syndrome has changed drastically.

Amy has even become a member of the board of the organization too.

To continue making Wisconsin a place where those with Down Syndrome are supported, the family is encouraging people to give. They humbly ask for the public’s support at their daughter’s fundraising lemonade stand.

Lemonade stand on Saturday

Peyton Larson lemonade stand
Peyton and company gear up for another fundraiser in 2022. – Credit: Amy Larson

The first lemonade stand they hosted was in 2020 as a way to celebrate Peyton and raise funds.

“Peyton’s favorite drink is lemonade,” said Amy. “We had probably more than 100 people come through… we raised over $800 that first day.”

Each year, they raise more and more. This year, they have a goal to raise $3,000 for DSAW.

“She is a very outgoing little girl. She has a very bubbly personality,” said Peyton’s mom.

Peyton Larson lemonade stand
Head out to 6015 Finch Ave. in Racine for some freshly squeezed lemonade while helping to make a 10-year-old’s birthday wish a reality. – Credit: Google maps

Mom hopes that the community can come and share a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and help the family give back to DSAW.

Visit 6015 Finch Ave. in Racine from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Visit their event page for extra details.

Can’t make it out? Donate online to Peyton’s team.

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