October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Across the country and around the world, people will honor individuals with Down syndrome.
In 1995, the National Down Syndrome Society established the Buddy Walk to bring together a range of people in order to promote acceptance and inclusion for people with Down syndrome. The Buddy Walk is a one-mile walk in which anyone can participate without special training. According to the NDSS, in 2011, more than 200 walks were held and more than $11 million raised nationwide.
Locally, the Centre County Down Syndrome Society will hold its fifth annual Buddy Walk to promote awareness and raise funds. The CCDSSs mission is to provide information, support, and advocacy for individuals with Down syndrome and their families in the Centre County area. The Buddy Walk is a wonderful event and a great way to meet this organizational mission.
The CCDSS Buddy Walk will be Oct. 20 at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, University Park. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the walk commences at noon. The Buddy Walk provides a time and place for everyone to come together to have fun, enjoy a variety of activities and walk in support of people with Down syndrome.
Funds raised from the Buddy Walk are used by the CCDSS in a variety of ways to benefit and support local citizens with Down syndrome. One initiative includes providing funds for the Self-Advocates Group, which was launched early this year to support teens and adults with intellectual disabilities. Other funds are used to support the Challenger Baseball League during the summer months. In addition, Buddy Walk funds will also assist two families from Centre County to attend the 39th annual NDSC Convention in Texas.
The Buddy Walk is successful because of a dedicated group of volunteers. If youd like to volunteer to help with the Buddy Walk, email us at email@example.com. Registration is easy. Visit http://2012ccdssbuddy walk.kintera.org/ to find out more about the Buddy Walk. You can register as an individual, form or join a team and raise funds, or donate to the Buddy Walk. Local businesses also provide corporate sponsorships to help offset the costs of the walk. If your business can help sponsor the Buddy Walk, please contact us.
Come out and support your neighbors with Down syndrome by joining us at the Centre County Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk on Oct. 20 at Medlar Field. We look forward to walking with you.
Beth McLaughlin is the Buddy Walk coordinator.