Ryan Christiansen entered the Firehouse Pizza &Pub and knew it was time to put on his chef hat, roll out dough, sprinkle some cheese, and celebrate his abilities with Down syndrome.
Rebecca Christiansen, founder of Celebrate Differences, partnered up with Victoria Fecarotta, owner of the Firehouse Pizza & Pub in downtown Oswego to celebrate Down syndrome month by making pizzas and making the community more aware of Down syndrome.
The Celebrate Differences organization has grown from being a monthly workshop at churches to a 1,400 square foot center working to make the community more aware of disabilities.
Celebrate Differences aims to make children and their families feel safe and offer a place where everyone can truly be themselves. They offer training, information, and programs to help parents better understand the nature of their children’s disabilities in order to enlighten them to achieve their dreams.
Fecarotta has a sister with Down syndrome in Argentina, so she is always looking for ways to help out the community and felt that making pizzas was a great way to bring awareness to Down syndrome.
Former Chicago Bears player and Oswego business owner and resident Macey Brooks was there to help the kids make their pizzas and learn more about the organization.
“I was super exited to help out. I try to do a lot of community work because it makes you realize that there are people around you that need your help and it lets them know that they matter,” Brooks said.
Caught up in the heart-warming atmosphere, parent Gabriella Wojciechowksi thought the event was “amazing.”
“[The kids are] loving it! It’s nice to have a community like this where we can celebrate with our kids and other families,” Wojciechowksi said.