Walk builds awareness for Downs syndrome
Fundraiser encourages friendship, understanding
It doesn’t matter who you are – everyone needs a buddy.
The National Down Syndrome Society will be holding their 4th annual Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome on Sept. 25, and organizers are emphasizing that the walk is an event for anyone at any age.
“The kids are getting their faces painted while they are learning about the little boy that is standing next to them with Down syndrome. It a day of learning and having fun,” said Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome chair Andrew Sawicki.
The Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome was developed in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to bring a wide range of concerned individuals together. The goal is to reach out to friends, family, and coworkers to promote awareness of people with Down syndrome and to raise money for research and education programs.
The walk portion is three kilometers long and on the way, there are motivation stations set up where walkers can receive some goodies to help re-charge for the remainder of the walk.
During the event, there will also be a live performance by everyone’s favorite man with a guitar, Fred Penner, and comedic entertainment by Big Daddy Tazz. There will also be a huge inflatable maze for kids, free cake, and hot dogs and hamburgers for sale – or walkers can pack their own picnic lunch.
“It’s a really great way for all the kids to interact with each other. Whether they have Down syndrome or not, they are all friends on this day,” says Sawicki.
After the walk, awards are announced for those who walk with the most buddies, and for those who raise the most funds.
Money raised from the Buddy Walk becomes a crucial financial resource to the Manitoba Down Syndrome Society (MDSS). MDSS promotes educational awareness and the importance of equality and inclusion of any individual.
This year’s walk will start at noon, and will kick off at the Canadian Mennonite University.
For more information about Down syndrome, the 2011 Buddy Walk, or how you can get involved, visit http://www.mbdss.ca/buddy_walk/2010/2010_buddy_walk.html.