Out & About: Fun Run Aims to Raise Down Syndrome Awareness

  • Scenes from last year's Lebanon Down Syndrome Awareness Fun Run in Lebanon. (Courtesy photograph)

  • Scenes from last year's Lebanon Down Syndrome Awareness Fun Run in Lebanon. (Courtesy photograph)

  • Two year olds Lily Scott and Finn Webster (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Calendar Editor
Monday, March 12, 2018

Lebanon — Two year olds Finn Webster and Lily Scott are the best of friends. They go to school together, have play dates and on March 21, they will be the faces of the Annual Lebanon Down Syndrome Awareness Fun Run and Celebration, a 5K held on World Down Syndrome Day.

“They’re so sweet and they’re so sweet together,” said Luke Webster, who is organizing the race along with his wife Maeghan Finnigan. “It’s a good reason to get together and celebrate Finn and celebrate Lily and really celebrate our community, because everyone has just been so supportive and kind to us, and just welcomed Finn and Lily into the community.”

Webster described last year’s run as more impromptu, with about 50 people attending. The race takes place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Being later, the dark can be a concern.

“It’s a challenge, but we try to work around it the best we can,” Webster said.

After the race, a celebration is held at Salt hill Pub in Lebanon.

While there is no registration cost per say, participants are asked to donate at least $21 to Ruby’s Rainbow, a nonprofit organization that gives educational scholarships to adults with Down syndrome. People can RSVP on the Lebanon Down Syndrome Awareness Fun Run Facebook page, and can walk or run the 5K. Dogs on leashes and children are welcome.

The couple found out Finn had Down syndrome before he was born. “From that moment on… We’ve been on this trajectory where we want to educate ourselves and our community,” Webster said. “We want to talk about it ... and we want Finn to be really part of the community and we want to show that he’s not just someone with Down syndrome, he’s our son, he’s a brother, he’s a friend.”

Finn inspired Webster, an education attorney, to shift his focus to special education law.

“Finn has really changed our lives in a lot of ways,” Webster said. The couple also have a 3-year-old daughter and are expecting another child. “We’ve found resources and resources really have found us. We want to be a resource for other families.”

The race can help families who have members with Down syndrome connect, expanding the network of which Webster and Finnigan have become part.

Webster also wants to acknowledge the role the community plays in raising a family.

“It definitely takes a village. Lebanon is really a happy community for us and we’re really lucky,” Webster said. “It’s really a celebration. We’re celebrating our children and our community. More than anything, that’s what this is really about.”

Editor’s note: For more information, contact Webster at webster.luke@gmail.com or 603-315-3500. Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.