Buddy Walk

Saturday, October 5, 2 - 6 pm

Click Here to Register

The DSAGC will hold its annual Buddy Walk on Saturday, October 5, 2013 from 2 - 6 p.m. at Freedom Park in Charlotte. The Buddy Walk is a rain-or-shine afternoon of fun and excitement, highlighted by a one-mile walk around the Freedom Park pond to show our commitment to improving the lives of individuals with Down syndrome as well as raise awareness in the community. Walkers range from newborns to great-grandparents; families, friends, teachers, therapists and more! Over 85% of all money raised stays in the local community to help serve more than 500 families in the Charlotte area in ways such as running camps, educational  symposia to members and professionals, scholarships for families and self-advocates to attend Ds conferences, provide new parent packets to families, doctors and hospitals, offering opportunities for socialization and education, along with many other programs.

The 2012 Buddy Walk was another record-breaking event with over 2,200 participants raising $200,000. We expect an even larger turnout this year. We also hope to exceed the fundraising totals from 2012. But to do so, we need your continued support of the DSAGC! Join over 125 teams in this year’s Buddy Walk! Parents of newborns and newcomers to the Charlotte area, we look forward to meeting you at your 1st Buddy Walk.

The Walk itself will begin at 4 p.m., starting in front of the Freedom Park Amphitheater. However, come join the DSAGC for the duration to show your support. We will have plenty of activities on-going throughout the event, including music, a magician, moon bounces, face painting, an arts tent, prize drawings and visits by sports and other character mascots. Food and drink will be provided as well. Feel free to bring your own personal tents, chairs, blankets and coolers – whatever will make your time at the park an enjoyable experience!

The Buddy Walk is only a success because of the help of many volunteers, both in the planning stages as well as the day of the event. If you or someone you know is interested in helping out with the Buddy Walk, please contact Steve Leyton at buddywalk@dsa-gc.org.

Buddy Walk History

The Buddy Walk was developed by the National Down Syndrome Society in 1995 to celebrate October, National Down Syndrome Awareness Month and provide an annual public platform for advocacy. It brings together people with Down syndrome and their invited “buddies” — everyone from friends and family to teachers, politicians and co-workers — to promote acceptance and inclusion for people with Down syndrome and to raise funds for education, research and advocacy programs.

The Buddy Walk is a one-mile walk in which anyone can participate without special training. Hundreds of thousands of people walk from coast to coast and around the world each year. The goal of the Buddy Walk is three-fold: to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome; to raise the funds necessary to develop innovative and effective programs; and to enhance the position of the Down syndrome community, enabling us to positively influence local and national policy and practice.

What You Can Do:

  • Create a team and fund raise online! (Use the registration link above.)
  • Compete with your friends to raise the most money
  • Raise awareness in your community with Buddy Walk posters and brochures
  • Help your company become a Buddy Walk sponsor
  • Volunteer on the planning committee and/or day of the event
  • Encourage Self Advocates to participate in entertainment!
  • Use Facebook to generate additional support for your team!

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