Chauncey, Piper Billups dress up for a good cause

Nuggets point guard helps raise money for Down syndrome

Chalk up another community assist for Nuggets point guard Chauncey Billups.

The Denver native and his wife Piper (pictured, right) walked the runway Saturday as part of a fashion show to benefit the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. Other participants included PGA Tour member David Duval, actor Jamie Foxx, music producer Quincy Jones and “Survivor” host Jeff Probst.

“It was fun. I had a great time,” Chauncey Billups said. “That whole event is first-class and for a great cause. We’re trying to raise a lot of money to help these children fight all the problems they have to go through with Down syndrome. It was just awesome to be there and be with the kids and take pictures and have fun. It was sweet.”

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation was created in 2009 to help improve the lives of the estimated 400,000 Americans – including 6,000 in Colorado – with Down syndrome. Its primary focus is to support the Aurora-based Linda Crnic Institute, which is dedicated to eradicating the medical and cognitive ill effects associated with the genetic disorder through clinical research and care.

Saturday’s “Be Beautiful Be Yourself Jet Set Fashion Show” raised about $1.45 million.

“I actually don’t have any close relatives or friends that have been affected (by Down syndrome), but it really doesn’t matter,” Billups said. “I feel for people who are in that position. Sometimes they don’t have the funding for their kids to lead a pretty good life. We had a great night and raised a lot of money.”

Chauncey and Piper have three daughters, which helped them make an instant connection with the children who shared the runway with them.

"My experience with the kids that were in the fashion show taught all of us in that room that they are full of life and positive energy," Piper Billups said. "Even though I had just met them, I couldn't help but to be proud of them. What a humbling experience."

Before walking the runway, Chauncey and Piper posed for pictures and sat with Foxx, Jones and Probst during dinner. Foxx's sister, DeOndra Dixon, has Down syndrome and received the Quincy Jones Exceptional Advocacy Award last year.

“Our models with Down syndrome and their families are huge fans of Chauncey and the Nuggets,” said Michelle Sie Whitten, executive director of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. “We are so lucky to have him and Piper involved with our fashion show. Chauncey is an amazing world-class athlete, and he and Piper have hearts of gold.”

Since joining the NBA in 1997, Billups has consistently been active in community and charitable events.

He launched the Chauncey Billups Foundation last October, while Piper simultaneously launched the Spread Her Wings Foundation. Billups, recipient of the 2008-09 NBA Sportsmanship Award, also has donated money to the University of Colorado and is a co-founder of the Porter/Billups Leadership Academy.

Contact Aaron J. Lopez at

Related link: Nuggets In the Community

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