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Friends of Club 21 was founded by Tim Middlebrook after a trip to South Africa in 2014. While there, he met Izelle Ells and learned about how she started Club 21, a school for children with Down syndrome. Club 21 received no public funding or government support. Tim, with the support of his wife Michelle, and their four children, started Friends of Club 21 to some alongside this special school and see their vision grow.

Tim and Michelle Middlebrook are proud parents of Sarah, born in 2001 with multiple diagnoses including Down syndrome. They know firsthand the support that is needed for their daughter, their family and their community.

In 2015, Tim invited recording artist Jared Anderson to join him in South Africa and visit Club 21. On that visit, Jared was surprised to find the students at the school had learned some of his songs and they used music to connect across an ocean, across cultures and discovered a shared love of those with Down syndrome and special abilities.

Out of this experience, the vision for Christmas This Year was born.

Our Mission

Friends of Club 21 is a Colorado non-profit celebrating Down syndrome locally and around the world. We exist to see supported communities, social awareness and global generosity for families affected by Down syndrome.