Some Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies were sporting some colorful, outrageously mismatched socks under their uniforms on Monday and it was all for a good cause.
It wasn’t a fashion statement but more about raising awareness of Down syndrome, a genetic chromosomal disorder, during World Down Syndrome Day and the “Rock Your Socks” 2016 campaign. Teresa Harris, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department, said the idea to participate came from Deputy Kayla M. Lochner-Franz whose uncle had the syndrome.
|Montco Deputy Sheriff Kayla Lochner/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.|
“I think, in general, the sheriff’s office is very open to employees who want to support organizations that represent people in need,” Harris said. “It’s a good thing.”
Lochner-Franz said she was inspired to get involved with the national campaign in memory of her uncle, Mike, who passed away at 51 years old. She said the campaign urges people to find creative ways to advocate for the rights of those with Down syndrome and to celebrate the wonderful things about people with the syndrome.
“He was one of my best uncles. He was always fun to be around, always happy,” Lochner-Franz recalled. “I have such a passion, and so does my family, to bring awareness of Down syndrome.”
|Montco deputy Rockin Some Socks/Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.|
More than a dozen deputies participated in the “Rock Your Socks” campaign and they had to contribute to a Down syndrome charity in order to get permission to don their colorful socks. Lochner-Franz said about $55 was raised to support a local Down syndrome charity.
World Down Syndrome Day is held on the 21st day of the third month, which signifies the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome, which leads to Down syndrome, according to the Down Syndrome Association of Delaware.
Kudos to Kayla Lochner for suggesting the idea and to all those deputies who participated in the event. Your dedication to and support of a worthy cause was appreciated and didn't go unnoticed.