In 1997, as part of a community-wide celebration to honor member Annie Forts, the Moultonboro Lions Club decided to help Ann realize her dream to start a new fund to assist and encourage young people with Down Syndrome. The fund was incorporated in NH as The Annie Forts “UP” Syndrome Fund, Inc. and approved by IRS as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit charitable fund. $50,000 was raised at the celebration. Over $300,000 has been received in donations to date towards Ann’s ultimate goal of $1,000,000. Only interest earned is used to provide enrichment opportunities to persons with Down Syndrome and to help support individuals interested in pursuing a career in Special Education. Since the fund was started in 1997, the awards committee for Annie’s Fund has issued financial awards totaling $115,000.
February 27, 2002 – Washington, DC Annie was awarded the Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities. Annie was one of seven recipients chosen from more than 400 nominees.