New Jersey Governor First Lady Mary Pat Christie was joined by First Spouses across the country in sponsoring the Light the Way event on March 21.
This program was officially launched on World Down Syndrome Day, March 21, 2011, bringing attention to the rapidly advancing area of Down syndrome cognitive research, which holds great promise for improving memory, learning and communication for individuals of all ages with Down syndrome.
On the evening of that day, participating First Spouses lit their respective governor residences in the color blue, or recognized the event in a variety of other ways in order to bring greater attention to Down syndrome cognitive research. Participation included: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Guam, Kansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Texas, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The goals of the Light the Way program are to expand awareness of Down syndrome cognitive research, including the efforts of Research Down Syndrome (RDS) to fund this research. Mrs. Christie noted that she endorses the Light the Way campaign because she is inspired by initiatives designed to empower individuals in her state and she is pleased to be joined by other First Spouses in increasing awareness about this research which brings a fresh approach to the complex issues related to the needs of those with intellectual disabilities.