SOFT Conference 2021

Our Stars Keep Shining

The 2021 Conference is postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The conference will be rescheduled for 2022. Dates, times and events posted here are tentative.

SOFT's annual conference is a place for families to connect with each other, learn new things in our forums, clinics and workshops, and remember all the angels who have gone too soon.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 SOFT Conference has been postponed. Plans are for the Conference to take place in 2022. Dates, times and events will be posted here.

Location: Roanoke, Virginia
Dates: 2021 Conference Postponed to 2022. Dates TBD
Cost: View Pricing Sheet

About the Conference Hotel

The conference will be held at the historic Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center

Address: 110 Shenandoah Ave NW, Roanoke, VA 24016
Phone: 540-985-5900
Special Rate: $134/night* plus tax, use promo code "SOFT20"
*This rate expires June 30th, so don't wait! The rate will be available up to three days prior to, and after, the conference.

Remember, a hotel registration does NOT register you for the conference; that is separate and should begin in March. The hotel offers on-site self and valet parking.  Ask about any costs when registering.

The SOFT Check-in Room will be open at  9am-7:30pm on Wednesday - location TBA.  Please check in as soon as you arrive so you can receive your conference bag which contains essential conference information and much more.

Welcome Dinner

Thursday night's Welcome Dinner will feature a Keynote Speaker and events such as the Parade of Stars, Erin Jorgenson scholarship award, other awards, entertainment, and plenty of opportunity to socialize with families and friends!.

SOFT's Annual "SOFT Friends" video, in memory of Kari Holladay, will be shown during Saturday morning's Business Meeting.  A link explaining the video and how to submit photos will be posted here at the appropriate time. Emailed photos must be sent to Kris by (TBA).   Mailed photos must arrive by (TBA).

SOFT conference 2012

Clinics & Workshops

Thursday Medical Forum/Clinics

This year, clinics will be medical forums with specialized physicians from many parts of the country providing services.  These will be held in the hotel so there will be no need to take a bus trip to a hospital, making it much easier to attend your chosen specialties.

You will register for clinics when you arrive and receive your conference materials. This list will be updated as schedules are firmed and events are added, usually in March.

    • Cardiology - Dr Menon
    • Pediatric ENT - Dr. Mike Green
    • Genetics - Dr John Carey
    • Medical Genetics & Tumor Risk - Dr Stephen Braddock
    • Ophthalmology - Dr Steve Cantrell
    • Physical Therapy - TBA


Friday Workshops

The workshop list will be continuously updated and the final list of Workshops, times and locations will be provided with your conference materials when you arrive.

1A - Shining moments from the TRIS project - Debbie Bruns, PhD
1B - Trisomy 13 - Dr John Carey
1C - Modified Physical Therapy - Lauren Cantrell Howell, PhD and Adam Howell, PhD
1D - Guardianship - Ann Green, ARC of VA

2A - Stars Among Us - Debbie Bruns and Alexis Pertilla.  Care for Children and Adults with Trisomy 9 (Parent Panel)
2B - Shining Together - Cindy Cook.  Parents Perceptions of Physician's Empathy
2C - Bright Ideas: Barb VanHerreweghe.  Tips for Transitioning from Child to Adult
2D - Trisomy 18 - Dr John Carey

3A - All eyes on 2020.  Dr Steve Cantrell
3B - Trusts & Transition; Ann Green,
3C - Crafting Memories - Irene Lint
3D - Sibs-only Scavenger Hunt & Sharing.   Cindy Cook, PhD and Mariah Lint

4A - Mom's-only Workshop. Cindy Cook, PhD
4B - Dad's-only Workshop.  Joshua Bradley


Outings & Events


Annual SOFT Remembrance Outing

The annual SOFT Remembrance Outing  will be held at (TBA)  on Thursday afternoon
See schedule for times

Siblings Outings

The Older Siblings Outing will be an "Escape Room" event.  The cost is expected to be $37 which includes transportation, a T-shirt and Lunch.
Younger Siblings will go to the Science Museum, (Cost $20) and lunch will be provided for them as well.
See the schedule for departure and return times.


The Saturday picnic will be held at Mill Mountain Park, 1300 Prospect Rd SE, Roanoke VA.
See the Schedule for times.  It will include a catered picnic meal, entertainment, the balloon release and other events.

Balloon Celebration

The annual balloon celebration will be held at the Saturday Picnic.  Use the registration form to request a balloon release.  Conference attendees may also request one on a "walk-in" basis, at the picnic.


The Auction will be held Saturday night and details will be posted here when they are known. Please send your Auction Donation Items to: Jamie Lint, PO Box 1074, Raven VA 24639

Memory Room

The Memory Room will be will be open as outlined in the conference schedule. Please bring photo albums or other memorabilia to display! Be sure to remove your belongings prior to closure!

SOFT Families gathering for the Balloon Celebration at SOFT Conference

Joey Watson Memorial Conference Attendance Assistance Fund

The Joey Watson Memorial Conference Attendance Assistance fund exists to help needing and qualifying families who require transportation and registration assistance to attend the conference.  The deadline for submitting the form is May 15th and requestors must seek other assistance in their communities prior to asking for help from this fund.  These funds are very limited, so start early.


Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Travel Tips, for those traveling by air with children and/or equipment.