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SunDown Benefit



SunDown Spring Benefit and Awards 2024
Join the celebration as the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles honors outstanding individuals of the Down syndrome community for an unforgettable day of honor and fundraising.

Saturday, March 9, 2024
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Lakeside Golf Club: 4500 W. Lakeside Dr. Burbank, CA 91505

Voices Awards
Voices Awards Voices Awards are presented to individuals with Down syndrome who share their independent voice in the community.

Voice Awards Honoree
Stefany Betania Contreras Sarramera

Stefany Betania Contreras Sarramera, born in Caracas, Venezuela, is now calling Los Angeles her home. Stefany shares a deep bond with her family, especially with her sister, Eliana. Stefany is a witty and loving person who brings great joy to her family. She is a triple threat who enjoys singing, dancing, and acting with the Born to Act Players, as well as various other artistic pursuits. Educated in Venezuela, Stefany trained in the administrative field and worked at a preschool for nine years. She also worked on her culinary skills at La Castellana School for many years.

Stefany was inspired to start making desserts after a job interview did not result in a callback. She leveraged her joy of baking and desire to satisfy clients to launch her business in 2023, creating artisanal desserts. 

Working alongside her mother, she creates a variety of Venezuelan treats including passion fruit marquezas, chocolate, coffee, and Nutella mini desserts for parties, Chocoflan, corn cake, and bread cake. Recently, with the help of her uncle, Stefany has expanded her reach through social media. She and her mom make for a great team and are excited to continue growing their business.

Vision Awards
Vision awards honor people who support individuals with Down syndrome and share their vision in the community.

Vision Awards Honoree
Mike Federico, City of Port Hueneme Chief of Police

Mike Federico's lifelong dedication to public service began with a decade-long tenure at the City of Port Hueneme Police Department. He later joined the Santa Monica Police Department, where he spent 20 years of his career serving the community he loved. His exceptional service led to his promotion to the rank of Detective Lieutenant in his final three years on the force.

Last year, Mike returned to his roots when he was appointed Chief of Police for the City of Port Hueneme. But his commitment to the community doesn't stop there. He has served as board president of the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles for more than five years. This is a cause that is especially close to his heart, as his daughter was born with Down Syndrome. Thanks to his outstanding leadership, DSALA was able to continue its mission throughout the pandemic. Mike's unwavering commitment to public service is truly inspiring.

Vision Awards Honoree
Jonathan D. Santoro, MD
Dr. Santoro serves as the Director of Neuroimmunology and Demyelinating Disorders Program and Director of Research for the Neurologic Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He is also an Associate Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. Dr. Santoro completed his undergraduate, masters, and medical degrees at Tulane University. He completed residencies in pediatrics and child neurology at Stanford University which was followed by sub-specialty training in neuroimmunology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Santoro is one of only a handful of national clinician-scientists who treat neurologic disorders associated with Down syndrome. He has been instrumental in identifying systemic vascular abnormalities in persons with Down syndrome and moyamoya disease, a rare stroke disorder which affects persons with Down syndrome 26 times more frequently than the general population. Dr. Santoro also has clinical research expertise in neuroinflammation as it is related to cerebrovascular disease and neurocognitive disorders such as Down Syndrome Regression Disorder (DSRD), of which he has spoken internationally. In addition to his clinical and research activities, Dr. Santoro advocates for persons with disabilities at both the state and federal level through the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Neurology. 

SunDown Committee
Colleen Bellitti, Lynne Shulim, Claudia Richarte, Yesenia Holwager, and Sandra Baker