Buddy Walk for down syndrome Sunday

The Down Syndrome Association of Tulsa (DSAT), a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of individuals with Down syndrome, will hold its 9th Annual Buddy Walk to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month this Sunday, October 16, 2011 from 1:30-4:00 at Union Public School’s Central Park located at 62nd and Mingo.

Presented by McDonald’s, Feed the Children and Williams, this event is attended by more than 5,000 people and is free to the public. “The DSAT Buddy Walk is a great family event and a wonderful way to raise awareness regarding the abilities of people with Down syndrome,” President of DSAT, Danny Ziriax said.  “The support of Tulsa community is strong and continues to grow each year.”  

Individuals with Down syndrome invite their “buddies” to walk with them.  Buddies can be anyone from friends and family members to teachers, coworkers and politicians.  Free activities include carnival games, inflatables, more than ten local mascots, arts, crafts, petting zoo, 20 exhibitors, music and much more. The master of ceremonies will be Ronald McDonald himself.

The 2010 Tulsa Buddy Walk raised more than $30,000 to support Down syndrome in Tulsa and its surrounding communities.  Ninety-three percent of all money raised stays at the local level and helps finance scholarships for families to attend local and national seminars, provide new parent packets, educate the medical community through a new program entitled Changing Lives and sponsor special events throughout the year so that individuals with Down syndrome can come together and celebrate.

The Walk has grown from 17 Walks in 1995 to more than 350 nationwide – at least one in each state.  The Buddy Walk has three primary goals.  First, to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.  Second, to raise funds for local programs and services as well as national advocacy efforts and third, to enhance the position of the Down syndrome community, enabling us to positively influence local and national policy and practice.

More than 400,000 Americans live with Down syndrome in the United States.  It is the most commonly occurring genetic condition and affects people of all ages, races and economic levels. The Buddy Walk was developed by the National Down Syndrome Society in 1995 with a goal of bringing together a wide range of concerned individuals to promote awareness and inclusion of people with Down syndrome on local and national levels. Local affiliates of the National Society have adopted the Buddy Walk within the last 16 years.

For more information contact Alana Kennon at (918) 605-9931 or
tulsabuddywalk@gmail.com. Online registration is available at www.dsat.org