Group Hug Apparel ~ Andrew’s Story
My son Andrew Banar is 22 yrs old, and although he was born with Down Syndrome and has been challenged with many of the associated health issues, Andrew has always been happy and has lived life to its fullest. He is fearless and pursues interests and hobbies with excitement and dedication and he’s a great source of inspiration and love for his large circle of extended family & friends.
Andrew keeps busy and active within the community. He just finished the Life Skills Program at St. Clair College and will be graduating in June 2014. He works a couple days a week at Colasanti Tropical Gardens, he has volunteered at the Leamington Hospital, worked at Walmart, and has worked at the Kingsville Golf Course. He is also a serious fan of music and movies, and has attended a Green Day concert as well as a Bare Naked Ladies concert. He loves to bowl, hang out with friends and play his drums.
One day Andrew was talking to me about his cousin who went to college. Andrew had decided he wanted to go to college and got an idea to raise some money. He wanted to make a lemonade stand, but then I noticed one of his recent rock & roll drawings and thought it would be cool if Andrew sold t-shirts printed with his drawings. We purchased some shirts, printed them up, and… they were a big hit!
Our little business venture is called Group Hug Apparel and we sell the popular tees, hoodies, and other cool items at a slew of events, festivals, and charity fundraisers (and now world wide through the GHA web store) with a portion of the proceeds donated to many important charities and community organizations.
Andrew and our family have spent enough time in various hospitals to know that it’s important to support these organizations. Plus, Andrew has a great time meeting lots of new people and spreading his infectious smile!
Karen Pickle (Andrew’s mom) ~ www.grouphugapparel.com
Buy a “Rock On” shirt and support some of Andrew’s great charities!