RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – On Tuesday, the Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society (CMDSS) officially opened the doors to The Buddy Center with a grand opening celebration in Ridgeland.

“The opening of The Buddy Center will allow our organization to expand our current programming and serve an even greater number of people in our community,” said parent and CMDSS Board President Kyle Sisk. “We are thrilled to see this dream become a reality.”

According to officials, the vision for The Buddy Center is to offer a space to foster community, provide a place of belonging, all where those with Down syndrome are provided limitless opportunities and the ability to pursue their dreams.

“Central Mississippi Down Syndrome Society is dedicated to the health, awareness, and acceptance of Mississippians with Down syndrome,” said Jennifer Babl, CMDSS Executive Director. “The Buddy Center will provide a place to foster our mission. We are excited to offer free educational and social programs for those with Down syndrome, their families, and the community at large. This will be the first program of its kind in Mississippi.” 

In addition to the grand opening, John Chew and the Chew Foundation presented CMDSS with a $50,000 check for the overall operation of The Buddy Center.

“The Buddy Center is one of the most worthy community service projects and grassroots efforts we have ever supported,” said Chew. “We congratulate Director Jenny Babl, the CMDSS board, and all their family of volunteers for bringing this valuable human resource to the Central Mississippi community and to the state.” 

The Buddy Center is now open and actively accepting donations for program and facility expenses. For more information on programming, events, and the opportunity to support The Buddy Center, visit cmdss.org