Trine students donate to Gigi's

From left, Trine University Doctor of Physical Therapy students Emalie Lawson, Grace Meara and Brittany Alwine; Judy Trentadue, a Gigi’s Playhouse ambassador; Teya Lahr, Genesis Health Bar Manager at GiGi’s Playhouse; and students Jenna Doumont, Emma Fase, Jessica Westphal and Jonah Gray. Trine DPT students raised more than $600 for GiGi’s Playhouse during a “penny wars” event in late October.

FORT WAYNE — Students in Trine University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program raised more than $600 for GiGi’s Playhouse during a “penny wars” campaign in October.

Students presented a check for $608 to GiGi’s Playhouse officials on Monday, Nov. 14.

The Fort Wayne-based organization provides free programs that are educational and therapeutic in nature to individuals with Down syndrome.

“We are grateful for every dollar that comes our way,” said Holly Tonak, executive director of GiGi’s Playhouse. “This incredible act of generosity will go a long way in helping us provide free educational, therapeutic and career development programs for individuals with Down syndrome from prenatal diagnosis through adulthood.”

The cohorts in the physical therapy program collected money during Physical Therapy Week, Oct. 24-28. The first-year DPT cohort raised the most money and earned a pizza party.

Trine’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program also partners with GiGi’s Playhouse to offer a free fitness program, GiGiFIT. The program helps tone and strengthen muscles, as individuals with Down syndrome have hypotonia (low muscle tone).

Part of Trine University’s College of Health Professions, the Doctor of Physical Therapy program is an intensive three-year, full-time program emphasizing real patient care experiences that prepares students to sit for licensure and practice in a clinical setting.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Trine University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.

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