Denny Weikert, PBE – Sterling, VA
In 1999, Denny, a LKQ PBE Field Sales associate in Sterling, VA, found out his son was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. After meeting three other local families in his community who also had children with Down Syndrome in 2001, they began the Family Resource Information Education Network, a non-profit that serves as a support and resource group for expectant parents, new parents, and extended families of babies born with Down Syndrome.
Denny was appointed the first president of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and served in his role from 2007 to 2014. After 2014, he sat on the Board of Directors until August 2018 when he retired. During his time, F.R.I.E.N.D.S established the local Buddy walk for his community which raises over $50,000 each year, a scholarship fund for students pursuing a career in any field that would benefit children and adults living with Down Syndrome, designed and implemented the first Down Syndrome Awareness license in Maryland and the first of its kind in the United States, along with several other accomplishments. Denny has also taught classes of all ages for ten years, helping students and teachers have a better understanding about Down Syndrome.
In addition, F.R.I.E.N.D.S now supports close to 200 families and has a reach that covers most of Maryland, Northern Virginia, the Eastern panhandle of West Virginia, and south central Pennsylvania.