By Bridget Mire Staff Writer
Logan Gros usually watches the Thibodaux Mardi Gras parades near the downtown viewing stand with family and friends.
This year, the 21-year-old is serving as honorary captain of the Krewe of Chronos. A partnership between the Carnival club and local nonprofit Upside Downs gave Gros, who has Down syndrome, the chance to shine.
Thibodaux attorney and krewe member Beau Brooks and his wife started Upside Downs after their son, Spencer, was born with Down syndrome Nov. 18, 2015. Brooks suggested that Chronos include someone with Down syndrome in this year's festivities.
"It's been so well-received," he said. "Logan was part of the tableau, and all the maids, the king and the queen were so receptive of him. They were so inviting. They treated him like he was royalty, and it was truly an amazing night to experience. It wasn't just a title. He actively played a role in the tableau itself. It was awesome."
Logan Gros wasn't available for an interview Friday, but his mother, Donielle Gros, said she's excited and grateful for the opportunity.
"He loves to get dressed up in his Mardi Gras shirts," she said. "He always enjoys it. He really didn't know what to think of it at first until he was brought in for the tableau. He was in charge. He says he wants to be the king now."
Chronos rolls after the Krewe of Cleophas, whose parade starts at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Logan Gros will ride in a car with his mom and brother.
"I'm waiting to see his full reaction of actually riding, looking for that smile on his face," Donielle Gros said.
Chronos' captain, Ryan Myhand, said part of the proceeds from a skeet shoot fundraiser went to Upside Downs.
"The Krewe of Chronos is finally in the position where we can start giving back to the community," he said. "Beau and his Upside Downs organization have really brought awareness to the community about Down syndrome. ... We thought it'd be a perfect fit to kind of advance that a little bit."
Brooks thanked the community and krewe for their support of his organization, which provides parental support, recreational activities, awareness and advocacy.
Logan Gros, who works at Rouse's on Canal Boulevard in Thibodaux, has had a personal effect on Brooks.
"He helped me as a father realize that just because someone has Down syndrome, doesn't mean they're limited," Brooks said. "They are able to work. They are just as capable as anyone else. Logan, anytime I see him, is just a source of inspiration to me."
-- Staff Writer Bridget Mire can be reached at 448-7639 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter@bridget_mire.