Tuesday, October 8, 2013

16th Annual Down Syndrome Indiana Buddy Walk

Yesterday I blogged about how the Buddy Walk got started and talked about the Buddy Walk as a whole, all over the country.  Today I am posting about our Buddy Walk specifically....

This year's Buddy Walk in Indianapolis is being held on Saturday, October 12th in Celebration Plaza of White River State Park in beautiful downtown Indy.  The Buddy Walk is an event that is open to all children and adults with Down syndrome, their families, friends, and thousands of local supporters. 

This event is a free, non-competitive event for families, unless it comes to fundraising, then a little competition is encouraged :)  And if you would like to donate to Down Syndrome Indiana in Sophia's name, you can go HERE and make a fast and simple donation, of any size! 

The Buddy Walk was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) as an event to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.  This event is officially licensed by the NDSS to support groups and organizations across the country to positively influence on a local level the awareness of the Down syndrome community.  Nationally, Buddy Walk is the most widely recognized public awareness program for the Down syndrome community.  Locally, it is currently the largest fundraising event for Down Syndrome Indiana, with this year's goal set at $230,000 for corporate and team sponsorships.  By donating to our fundraising page above, you can help us, help Down Syndrome Indiana, reach their goal! 

The Buddy Walk has three primary goals:
*  To promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.
*  To raise funds locally and nationally for education, research and advocacy programs.
*  To enhance the position of the Down syndrome community, enabling us to positively influence  
    local and national policy and practice.

In Indianapolis, the Buddy Walk, presented by Down Syndrome Indiana, is a 2.6 mile no-fee walk along the canal beginning at Celebration Plaza in White River State Park.  Proceeds from the walk help fund Down Syndrome Indiana programs and services that help individuals with Down syndrome and their families. 

Last year's Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome Indiana was a record-breaking success!  With nearly 5,500 participants, last year the event had the most teams participate so far and more than $200,000 was raised to support the mission of Down Syndrome Indiana! 

The Buddy Walk festivities kick off at 9am with Registration.  Throughout the morning you can; hear live performances by individuals with Down syndrome, gather resources at the information tent that is set up, enjoy interactive entertainment provided by Radio Disney and visit the kids' tent.  Then at 11:30am, family members and supports of the top 5 fundraising teams are invited to the stage to say a few words and be recognized for their efforts and accomplishments.  At noon, THE WALK BEGINS!  As a team, we will walk the 2.6 miles around the canal and finish right back in Celebration Plaza where we began.  Around 1pm, after you return from the walk, there are sack lunches available to those wanting to stay and eat.  (Usually our team is one of the last ones back???and the lunches are few and far between) 

We look forward to the Buddy Walk every year and love all the support that we can get from friends and family!  If you are in the area and would like to walk with us, we would love to have you walk as a part of our team, Sophia's Stars! 

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