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Band of Angels Introduces First International Symbol for Down Syndrome

Wednesday, October 10, 2007 @ 4:08 PM
Contacts: Barbara Fornasiero 248.651.7536 or cell: 586.817.8414;

Rochester Hills, Mich. ---October 9, 2007---

Michigan-based Band of Angels, an outreach organization dedicated to helping individuals with Down Syndrome reach their full potential, introduces a Halo With A Twist! as the new international symbol for Down syndrome.

“The Halo with a Twist® symbolizes the beauty and uniqueness of individuals with Down syndrome,” explains Band of Angels’ founder and CEO Cynthia Kidder. “It’s shimmering and reflective of light; a little different, sturdy yet beautiful. The light is reflected and radiated from it. The twist is the reminder of imperfections in each of us.” Amy Allison, Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City and founder of Affiliates in Action, a network of 50 plus support groups, says such a symbol is of immediate benefit to parents.

“Parents often comment that the birth of their child with Down syndrome brought an unexpected twist to their lives,” confirms Ms. Allison. “After the initial shock of the diagnosis wears off, they look around and notice that their circle of friends and their lives as a whole are enriched beyond measure because of their child. Their hope becomes that others recognize and value the worth of individuals with Down syndrome. A globally recognized Down syndrome awareness symbol, such as the Halo with a Twist, can only serve to enhance awareness of the many gifts and talents of individuals with Down syndrome.”

Ms. Kidder adds that the Halo with a Twist® will be a powerful vehicle to carry a positive Down syndrome message to new audiences.

“Communication about Down syndrome is typically done through support groups and niche areas of the medical community, and such communication varies greatly by country. Our intent with the Halo with a Twist® is to spread a message of hope about the potential of individuals with Down syndrome far beyond Band of Angels and the Down syndrome community,” offers Ms. Kidder

The Halo with a Twist® also serves as the new logo for Band of Angels and is an outgrowth of the previous Band of Angels’ logo, which featured a halo on angel’s wings. Additionally, it is offered as a jewelry charm in the new Band of Angels’ product catalog. Its design is the brainchild of Ms. Kidder, Band of Angels Board member and marketing whiz Julie Roehm (formerly of Chrysler and WalMart), and award-winning jewelry designer Joseph Rubinstein, co-owner of Aurum Jewelers in Rochester, Michigan.

Our mutual goal in designing the Halo with a Twist® was to create a symbol that speaks a universal language without words and without boundaries,” explains Ms. Kidder.

Ms. Kidder continues that, increasingly, the most effective cause marketing efforts incorporate a symbol into their messaging.

“Over the course of 13 years, Band of Angels has grown from a small grass roots movement in one Michigan community into a global organization that touches 2000 families annually through its new parenting packages alone. We reach approximately 10,000 others through our website, Still, we see a need for increased outreach here and abroad and are confident that the Halo with a Twist® will be integral to expanding our mission. One need only look at the pink ribbon and the yellow wrist band (for Lance Armstrong’s cancer efforts) to see the impact of symbols in raising awareness for important charitable causes,” affirms Ms. Kidder. “Our hope is that the Halo with a Twist® serves as the pink ribbon and yellow wristband of Down syndrome.” Rochester Hills-based Band of Angels was established in 1994 by Cynthia Kidder, a national advocate for educating and employing individuals with Down syndrome and other disabilities. In May 2007, Ms. Kidder was named a Michiganian of the Year by the Detroit News; in November 2006 she was named one of nine “Women Who Inspire Us” by Woman’s Day Magazine. Under Ms. Kidder’s direction, Band of Angels produces high-end stationery products, the Beautiful Faces calendar, the My Baby Can! developmental calendar, the award winning Common Threads: Celebrating Life with Down syndrome, and the Halo with a Twist® jewelry charm. For additional product information, or to learn more about Band of Angels outreach efforts, please visit