Kings County to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day March 21

Published on March 15, 2017

Somerset resident Hunter Saunders, 3, is the inspiration behind an upcoming World Down Syndrome Day flag raising and proclamation ceremony in Kentville.


KENTVILLE - Kari Saunders didn’t have to look far to find the inspiration she needed to organize the Annapolis Valley’s first ever flag raising event in recognition of World Down Syndrome Day.

She did it for her young son, Hunter.

“I have a three-year-old with Down syndrome,” the Somerset resident said.

Saunders regularly travels to Halifax to participate in a playgroup that includes other people living with Down syndrome.

However, the experience left her wanting something similar closer to home. She decided to start by bringing awareness to her local community.

The Valley’s World Down Syndrome Day flag raising and proclamation celebration will take place March 21 at 9:45 a.m. in the Municipality of the County of Kings council chambers at 87 Cornwallis Street in Kentville.

The goal of the celebration is to raise awareness of not only Down syndrome, but autism as well.

Saunders and her husband began using their brewery as a way to support local charities and benefit causes they find meaningful.

“It all started with our own brewery,” said Saunders, referring to the Bad Apple Brewhouse.

They started celebrating World Down Syndrome Day, using proceeds to contribute to local charities supporting causes that are near and dear to their hearts and helping kids attend summer camp at the nearby Brigadoon Village.

Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. They have been overwhelmed by the support they’ve received, Saunders said.

“It’s spreading like wildfire.”

Several local dignitaries have expressed an interest in attending the upcoming flag raising. Municipal politicians, L'Arche Homefires representatives, the manager of Michelin’s plant in Waterville - as Saunders and her husband both work there – and Kings West MLA Leo Glavine, who will be reading a proclamation from the premier, are all expected to attend.

The flag at the heart of the event will feature a vibrant blue butterfly originally framed on a bottle in the Saunders’ brewery.

Saunders hopes that in the future this event will grow larger, and perhaps be celebrated in Halifax and other communities across Nova Scotia in the years to come.


Note: The author, Cameron Clarke, is a student at Central Kings Rural High School in Cambridge.