Venango County issues Down Syndrome Day proclamation

A couple of special guests attended the Venango County commissioners meeting Tuesday.

Gabriel Ojeda, 3, and Scott Kalamajka, 38, who both have Down Syndrome, were at the meeting with family members.

The commissioners issued a proclamation at the meeting designating March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day in Venango County.

“These folks are truly a blessing. My three-and-a-half-year-old grandson (Ojeda) is a blessing from God…I thank God every day for this little guy,” said Craig Westover, who added that Ojeda has changed his life for the better.

Westover said that working for the courts as a Venango County constable for many years left him very jaded, but seeing Ojeda’s joy in life has really changed his perspective.

While Westover was talking at the meeting, Ojeda walked around the room giving high fives to everyone, including the commissioners.

Donna Kalamajka said that over the many years she has cared for her son, Scott, county Human Services workers have been very helpful to her.

Commissioner Sam Breene said that when he went to a public gathering last month hosted by the Franklin Elks in support of people with Down Syndrome and their families, he could really see the need for people with Down Syndrome and their families to have “play dates, socializing and getting connected to the supports available to them in this area.”