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Thousands gather to raise money for kids with Down Syndrome

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Thousands of people gathered at Arrowhead Stadium Saturday for a very good cause, raising thousands of dollars for kids with Down Syndrome.

The parking lots were packed at the stadium, but people weren't there for a Chiefs game, instead they were there to Step Up for Down Syndrome.

"This year we raised nearly $13,000," Mandie Aadland said.

Aadland and more than a 100 of Ainsley's Angels are ready to party.

"We look forward to it, we plan for it, it's a really fun thing," Aadland said. "Ainsley was born nine years ago. We were blessed with an incredible gift, this little one right here."

The one mile walk is only part of the fun.

"I'm going to run," Ainsley said, explaining that it's not hard to walk a mile.

Aadland said the day gives her and Ainsley a chance to catch up with the friends they've made over the years.

"The opportunity to meet people that are going through the same things and to network and see and meet those people. It's just a really great group of supportive people," she said.

The half million dollars raised Saturday all stays in the metro to help the 1,200 families with a loved one living with Down Syndrome.

"Provide all the resources such as educating teachers in school districts, providing doctor visits, baby baskets. They're welcomed into our big arms as a family," said Amy Stoll, the director of First Downs for Down Syndrome.

"It's really important that Kansas City rallies around their kids and supports them," said Amy Allison, the executive director of the Down Syndrome Guild.

For Aadland, seeing the 10,000 people is almost too much.

"It's overwhelming, we're humbled, grateful, amazed. She's (Ainsley) changing lives every day. We hope and pray everyone here knows how grateful we are," she said.

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