Friends of Down Syndrome, Houston
Cinderella & Prince Charming Contest Winners


2016 Cinderella Ball Highlights
About Friends of Down Syndrome

Friends of Down Syndrome is a nonprofit organization that serves teens and adults with Down syndrome by offering programs, such as the Down Syndrome Academy, Building Blocks to Success Educational Series, and theT21 Social Club.

  Our Mission
The Friends of Down Syndrome’s mission is to create a lifelong of education and learning opportunities for teens and adults with Down syndrome through education, socialization, and community outreach.

  Our Vision
We envision a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to continue their education and contributions to their community, enhance their quality of life, realize their life potential, and become an accepted member of their community.

The Down Syndrome Academy (DSA) opened its doors on January 6, 2014 with just 17 students. The Academy is comprised of the Wellness, Academics and Vocational programs. As of August 2016, we have 2 students enrolled in our school.   Our students attend classes three to five days a week, year-round, from 9:00am to 3:15pm. Most of our students are transported via MetroLift.  You can go to our website at to learn more about all of our Programs:

     * Wellness ~ Nutrition and fitness classes.

     * Academics ~ Reading, math, science, P.E., following local, national, and world events (ie, Olympics, Gold Cup, Astros, Texans, etc.) and more.  The students are assessed when they enter the program and goals are developed based on their assessment results.  

     * Vocational training (on-site & on-location), social skills, and much more.


Building Blocks to Success Educational Series
~ Educational classes and seminars for parents, guardians, and caregivers.

21 Social Club
~ Monthly social events for teens and adults with Down syndrome and their friends who may have other disabilities.  Events include dances, Moody Gardens, movies, bowling, sporting events, overnighters, and more.

Why did we choose to have a Cinderella Ball?

*We wanted to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), which began in 2006 in Switzerland, and is observed on 21st day of March every year.  On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who work with them throughout the world organize and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome.  This date (March 21st) was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome that cases Down syndrome.

*Our teens and adults with Down syndrome wanted to have the opportunity to celebrate their achievements at a fun, magical, and elegant formal evening event with their family and friends.

* We wanted them to learn proper etiquette and waltzing at a formal event.  Therefore each Candidate is required to attend several etiquette classes and waltz lessons conducted by the Tomball Memorial High School NJROTC Cadets and held on Saturdays beginning in January from 10:00am – Noon at the Down Syndrome Academy.  The 2017 dates will be announced.

*We wanted our loved ones with Down syndrome to learn the many valuable life lessons and choices that Cinderella’s fable teaches.

The Crowning Ceremony of Cinderella & Prince Charming

Silent Auction

We are looking for volunteers to join our committee.  We need people to solicit donations, assemble the baskets for display, as well as helping out the night of the Ball.  If you or anyone you know may be interested, please contact Karen Evans at (832) 630-9696 or Rosa Rochaat (281) 989-0345.  

All donations are greatly appreciated.  Please bring your donated items as well as your completed Silent Auction Donation Form to Friends of Down Syndrome by Wednesday, March 1st at 6:00pm.

Here are a few ideas of items and services needed:

*Gift certificates to restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, Wal-Mart, Target, craft stores, etc.

*Tickets to sporting events, theater, cinema, circus, etc.

*Themed Gift baskets ideas:  baby shower, college, beach, wine, sports, candles, coffee, Italy, Texas, car detail kit, manicure, etc.  View list of Themed Gift Basket Ideas.

*Perhaps you have a special skill that can be auctioned, such as a hair stylist, cleaning service, plumber, lawn care, florist, photographer, videographer, muralist, organizer, optometrist, orthodontist, dentist, interior decorating/design, family photo shoot, event planner, etc.

Our Goal


30 Candidates

53 Team Captains
Thank you for your support!
Team Captain Information
Be sure to check out our 2017 Cinderella Ball Team Captain Guidebook which includes everything there is to know in order to be a successful Team Captain or Team Leader.  Please note that the PDF's hyperlinks are temporarily unavailable. We are working on fixing that.
Keep in Touch...

Help us spread the word about Friends of Down Syndrome and all of our wonderful Programs!

Visit Friends of Down Syndrome website
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Email Jennifer Friedman at to receive our monthly eNewsletters and Cinderella Ball updates.

The Evening's Festivities

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Norris Conference Center
  Houston / CityCentre
Red Oak Ballroom (2nd Floor)
816 Town and Country Blvd
Houston, Texas  77024
(I-10 & Beltway 8)

Map & Directions
Norris Conference Center Map
Driving directions

Parking Options

There will be a large Cinderella Ball Banner that marks the main entrance.  You can either drop off the Candidates and self-park on levels 3 and 4 of the Studio Movie Grill parking lot or you can choose to valet park. 

Valet parking is in front of the Studio Movie Grill on Town and Country Boulevard (see map).  Hotel Sorella also has valet parking, and it is closest to the Cinderella Ball entrance.  Last year the valet rate was around $10 and the cars will need to be claimed before midnight.  Don’t be late… you don’t want your carriage to turn into a pumpkin!There will be a large Cinderella Ball Banner that marks the main entrance.  You can self-park on levels 3 and 4 of the Studio Movie Grill parking lot or you can valet park in front of the Studio Movie Grill on Town and Country Boulevard or Hotel Sorello.

Timeline of Events

     Registration check-in
     Silent Auction begins
     Cash bars open

     Doors open to the Ballroom
     Dinner served
     Slide Show Presentation

     Silent Auction closes
     Introduction of Candidates
     Crowning Ceremony
     Guest of Honor Presentation
     Video Presentation
     Candidates Musical Performance

     Silent Auction Checkout begins

     Valet closes
     Don't let your carriage
     turn into a pumpkin!

This year's menu has not been set as of yet. 
Last year's menu:
Salad and dinner roll
Bacon-wrapped filet mignon with a Cabernet demi glaze
Twice-baked potato casserole
Mixed vegetable medley
Alternating desserts of chocolate cake & cheesecake with strawberry drizzle

*Vegetarian meals will also be available.  If you would like to reserve one, please call Rosa Rocha at (281) 989-0345 or with the name of the guest and the Team’s table by March 1, 2017.

Beverages & Cash Bar
There will be two beverage stations that will have complimentary water and iced tea.  The cash bar will have the following items, although the prices are subject to change:
     Premium Cocktails $8
     Well Cocktails $7
     House Wine $5
     Imported Beer $6
     Domestic Beer $5
     Soda / Bottled Water $2

More details
     Black Tie formal attire
     Plated dinner served
     Teens and adults only
     Cash bar

Special Thanks

We would like to especially thank our Cinderella Ball 2016 photographers for donating their time and talents to Friends of Down Syndrome.  The photos in this manual are courtesy of:

Fred Stewart
Freddy Hinojosa

Miguel Rivera

To see more pictures from the Ball, visit

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