The Fish Joint Dives Deep for Down Syndrome, Joining the Wave of Support
The Fish Joint Director of Operations Steve Laporte and his children Stefanos and Varvara. {courtesy}

By Agrippina Fadel

In a heartfelt gesture of support and community spirit, The Fish Joint restaurant, with locations in  Coconut Creek and Coral Springs, is standing up for Down Syndrome Month throughout October.

Owner Brian Rifkin said the cause is near and dear to the staff, and he hopes the community supports it.

“We have t-shirts printed that the staff wears to raise awareness, and the patrons can purchase them for $20. All proceeds of the shirt sales, in addition to a percentage of sales in October, will be donated to the cause,” he said.

Director of Operations Steve Laporte said the guests could also round up their checks when dining or submit a separate donation while at the restaurant.

“Every gesture, no matter how big or small, will help create a more inclusive and understanding community. Let’s come together, raise awareness, and offer our support to Down Syndrome Month,” Laporte said, adding that all proceeds will go to Broward Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization, which helps improve the lives of people with Down Syndrome and offers support to their families.

Laporte has been on the receiving end of that support since the birth of his son Stephanos, who has Down Syndrome. He said the organization helped his family and countless others by providing education, information, and advocacy.

“My son enlightened my life and took me on a journey I did not expect to go on. He surprises me every day. We should not put limitations on kids and adults with Down Syndrome – you never know what they can accomplish,” he said.

The fundraiser lasts until the end of October, and guests can participate at both locations.

The Fish Joint is open Mondays through Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and closed on Sundays. Locations are at 4570 Lyons Road in Coconut Creek and at 5677 Coral Ridge Drive in Coral Springs.

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Agrippina Fadel
Agrippina Fadel
Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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