Mt. Airy girl's photo to kick off Down Syndrome Awareness Month in Times Square

Three-year-old Ava McKelvey of Mt. Airy, who has Down syndrome, and her baby brother, Michael, are about to be famous, with a photo of the pair set to appear on a giant screen in New York City's Times Square to kick off Down Syndrome Awareness Month, which begins in October.

The picture -- which shows the red-headed siblings leaning against a hay bale last fall, Ava's hands held in mid-clap -- was chosen from more than 1,000 entries and will flash across the News Corporation Sony Screen with roughly 200 others in a video montage.

"It just really shows her interaction with her brother... her silly, giggly personality," said mom Maggie McKelvey. She and her husband, Matt, submitted the photo to the National Down Syndrome Society, which put out a worldwide call for images that show people with Down syndrome alongside friends and family.

The video will run Sept. 21, before the 19th annual flagship Buddy Walk, a mile-stroll through Central Park to raise funds and awareness.

Tricia Bishop is a new mom who covers family issues for the Baltimore Sun.

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