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South Park girl to be featured in NYC video to promote Down Syndrome awareness

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By Matthew Santoni

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Macee Peterson will be under the bright light's of New York's Time Square this weekend, for all to see.

Grinning in her pink glasses and a green cap and gown for her preschool graduation, the photo of Peterson, 5, of South Park will be part of a video the National Down Syndrome Society put together to promote awareness, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome.

Macee began kindergarten at South Park Elementary this fall, said her mother, Meredith Peterson.

“She loves it. Her favorite part, honestly, is riding the school bus each day,” Meredith said. “She's a very happy, happy kid.”

Macee takes part in classes with the help of an aide, her mother said. She does therapeutic horseback riding weekly, through Horses with Hope, which helps her with speech and physical therapy.

“The video is one of the most popular things we do. Families love to see their kids up there in lights,” said Julie Cevallos, vice president for marketing at the National Down Syndrome Society.

About 200 photos are chosen from more than 1,000 submissions, with emphasis given to those who show the society's key values of acceptance and inclusion — usually people with Down Syndrome doing everyday activities such as playing sports, learning or spending time with their families, Cevallos said.

The video will be shown in Times Square on Saturday morning, before the society's “Buddy Walk” in Central Park.

Because of school and other obligations, the Petersons won't make it to New York for this year's walk.

More information about Down Sydrome awareness month can be found at

Matthew Santoni is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5625 or




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