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By Patrick Tremblay
DCMA Public Affairs
Ten years ago, Al Amonette began joining a coworker at events run by an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that brings together fathers of children with Down syndrome for fellowship and support. Amonette doesn’t have a family member with the condition, but his friend did, and he was eager to participate.
“We work with interesting people, and it’s rewarding to get to know them better away from the job,” said Amonette. “It’s a good feeling to be able to support a worthy organization at the same time.”
He later retired from that job and returned to the federal workforce, and Amonette brought his passion for the organization, Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome, or DADS, with him. In his current role as a Defense Contract Management Agency quality assurance specialist at an Indianapolis aircraft engine plant, he’s now gotten his new coworkers involved as well.
At a 2019 DADS golf tournament, Amonette was able to introduce a DCMA coworker, Ed Pawelczyk, to the group. Pawelczyk has a child with Down syndrome, but didn’t know about the local group until he started working with Amonette. Along with other DCMA employees, the two have since used their free time to support the organization, strengthening their relationships on and off the job.
“DADS is a great organization, and participating in the golf tournament is a good way to socialize and get some exercise. Parents bring some of the kids to the golf course, in which we meet and interact with them before and after the tournament.” said Amonette. “Helping raise money to send kids to a specialized summer camp, which is partnered with the local children’s hospital, makes it even better.”
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