MLive: Event features father who challenged state rules so son with Down syndrome could play football at 19

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A father who challenged state high school rules to allow his 19-year-old son with Down syndrome play football will speak Saturday, May 4, at a fundraiser for the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan.

Dean Dompierre will speak at the association’s 2013 Winner’s Cup Benefit, which includes the viewing of the Kentucky Derby.

Eric Dompierre, who has Down syndrome, was barred from playing football his senior year at Ishpeming High School by Michigan High School Athletic Association rules. At 19, he exceeded the age limit.

His father, Dean Dompierre, overcame his fear of public speaking as he worked to change the rule, speaking on national television and the floor of the state Legislature. In August, before the fall 2012 season, MHSAA granted a waiver so Eric could play football.

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