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Down Syndrome Community Center in the Works

A non-profit called GiGi's Playhouse wants to create a community center in Rochester for people with Down syndrome.

The group was established by parents of children with Down syndrome in 2003 in Illinois. It has since grown to more than 20 other cities, and accommodates people of all ages and other disabilities.

Chris Tumminelli is the father of a boy with Down syndrome.

"A very happy father, with a beautiful boy named Lannon. He's 8 years old. From the moment he was born I got involved with what I could do to make his life better."

Tumminelli is currently a board member of GiGi's Rochester. The group is fundraising to establish a community center for people with Down syndrome. The idea is to make it a one-stop shop for educational activities, physical activity, and socialization.

"You think of social networking, and everyone connects on the internet. Well, this is a physical location where people with Down syndrome can physically connect, and come together, they can come there any day of the week, it's completely free."

Tumminelli says it will also be a resource for families, especially new parents, to get together and form their own community.

Fundraising is ongoing, and they are not looking at a specific location yet, but Tumminelli says he's confident in the response they have gotten from the Rochester community so far.

Veronica Volk is a senior editor and producer for WXXI News.