A love of baking and dogs lead to award

Last updated 05:00 20/03/2014

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The road to success for a Bell Block resident is paved with Kiwi ingenuity and homemade dog treats.

Chris Whitmore won the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association's National Achievement Award, which recognises the contributions and talents of people living with Down Syndrome.

Chris, Christopher Tavite, of Dunedin, and Katrina Sneath, of Wellington, were the three award recipients this year.

The 23-year-old first featured in the Taranaki Daily News this year in a story on his dog biscuit business, Chris's K9 Krunchies, which was launched in 2012.

He said he felt very proud of his achievements. "They rang to inform me about a month ago," he said.

It was his love of baking and dogs, even though he is slightly afraid of them, that led him to roll out his own biscuits made of wholemeal and rolled oats.

The treats come in two sizes - a bone-shaped treat or kibble-sized - catering to canines of varying mouth shapes.

On Tuesday, the Whitmores along with Chris's aunty, who is in her 80s, flew to Wellington for an evening of pomp and splendour.

Dad Ken said he was simply "bursting with pride" as he walked through Parliament's halls for the award ceremony, which was hosted by Disability Issues Minister Tariana Turia.

The family had also enjoyed their time touring the capital city before the award evening.

Chris was nominated by Karen McKay of the Taranaki Down Syndrome Association.

Chris' academic achievements included attaining NCEA level one while at New Plymouth Boys' High School and a Certificate in Vocational Studies at Witt.

The advice for anyone who wanted to do outstanding feats, Chris said, was to just go out and "knock them dead".

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- Taranaki Daily News

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