As part of its community service programme, Kuala Lumpur's Hard Rock Cafe, recently, hosted an afternoon gathering for children from the Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation (KDSF-NC).The children from KDSF-NC's Early Intervention Programme (EIP) classes arrived at about 4pm on June 18, in three chartered buses, accompanied by teachers and parents.Many of them also arrived in cars.KL Hard Rock Cafe's general manager, Michael Low, sales and marketing manager, Sharina Ahmad, and the staff were present to greet the children and their parents.The event was in keeping with Hard Rock Cafe's motto: Take Time To Be Kind."This event is part of our community service for Down Syndrome children," said Low, who was busy welcoming the children and their parents.Low said it was an honour for him and Hard Rock Cafe KL to host a gathering of children from KDSF-NC."This was a rare opportunity for us to express our concern for the Down Syndrome children," he told this writer.For Sharmini (not her full name), mother of a three-year-old boy with Down Syndrome, named Dave (also not his full name), this was the first visit to the world-renowned cafe at Jalan Sultan Ismail, here."Never in my life had I harboured thoughts of stepping into this cafe," she told this writer, who accompanied his four-year-old son, who has Down Syndrome, to the event.The event started with a performance by Coco the Clown. Initially, some of the children were shy. However, as the show proceeded, they grew comfortable around the clown, who entertained the audience with magic tricks and jokes.While Coco the Clown performed, the children and their parents were served drinks and a buffet.The show concluded with photographs being shot of the staff, children, parents and teachers. As a parting gift, each child received a Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt. Many children scrambled for balloons with 'Hard Rock Cafe' printed on them.Syndrome is a leading cause of intellectual disability around the world. It is not affected by race, nationality, religion or socio-economic status.It is a chromosomal disorder which usually causes a delay in physical, intellectual and language development. The incidence of Down Syndrome is one in every 660 live births in Malaysia.The exact causes of the chromosomal rearrangement, and primary prevention methods are currently undiscovered.While the likelihood of giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome increases with maternal age, 80 per cent of babies with Down Syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age, as women in that age-group give birth to a larger proportion of babies.There is a wide variation in mental abilities, behaviour and physical development among individuals with Down Syndrome. Each individual has his/her own unique personality, abilities and talents.However, 30-50 per cent of individuals with Down Syndrome have heart defects, while 8-12 per cent have gastrointestinal tract abnormalities at birth. Most of these defects can be corrected through surgery.Individuals with Down Syndrome benefit from loving homes, early intervention, special education, appropriate medical care and a positive public attitude.In 1971, two music-loving Americans founded the first Hard Rock Cafe in an old Rolls Royce showroom in London. Now, four decades later, one of the world's most recognisable brands has expanded to 163 venues in 50 countries.An employee at the Kuala Lumpur Hard Rock Cafe, who wished to be known as Raveen, said it was an honour for him, the management and workers at the world-renowned cafe to meet children from the KDSF-NC."To meet children and teachers from the KDSF, as well as the children's parents, is an honour for me and my colleagues," said the friendly Raveen.Among those present at the function were KDSF-NC president Loo Ai Choo, administrative director Angie Heng, KDSF-NC administration and information executive Noorzattul Syimma, and physiotherapists Hazel Joey Sablay and Ida Yasmine.