The Buddy Walk® was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Today, the Buddy Walk program is supported nationally by NDSS and organized at the local level by parent support groups, schools and other organizations and individuals.
Over the past fifteen years, the Buddy Walk program has grown from 17 walks to more than 300 expected in 2010 across the country and around the world. Last year alone, 250,000 people participated in a Buddy Walk! They raised more than $9.5 million to benefit local programs and services as well as the national advocacy initiatives that benefit all individuals with Down syndrome.
The Buddy Walk is a one-mile walk in which anyone can participate without special training. It is a wonderful, heart-warming event that celebrates the many abilities and accomplishments of people with Down syndrome. Whether you have Down syndrome, know someone who does, or just want to show your support, come and join a Buddy Walk in your local community!
For our family The Buddy Walk was in Chattanooga, this past Saturday October 9th...Jonathan's 12th birthday!!! We were all very excited about going to The Buddy Walk but the fact that is was held on Jonathan's birthday was extra special, like a little birthday treat for Jonathan.
Riverview Park was the location of the walk, and it's nestled in a historic area of downtown Chattanooga. So, not only was the day gorgeous but the sites we took in were equally as beautiful.
The walk began with some really taking off fast and then it trickled down to those who walked at a normal pace.
For our family it was a mix of normal and slow, but we weren't in any hurry!
It was so neat to see so many people come out for the walk.
As we rounded the corner of the half way mark we continued to take in the architecture of all the homes, but to our right we now had an unbelievable view of the golf course.
This is the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club, established back in the late 1800's.
Just beyond the trees runs the Tennessee River, what a sight this was to see. I wish the pictures showed the river better.
Jonathan enjoyed the walk and watching all the people.
We also saw an antique sports car, the kids thought this car was the coolest!
There were also lots of motorcycles, this motorcycle group had the most walkers. Over 100 came out for The Buddy Walk to walk for one person! The next largest group had 92 walkers for a little girl who had just turned 1.
After the walk they served pizza ....
and Little Debbie snack cakes!
After the kids ate they went back to the playground, for some more fun.
I think they could have stayed all day.
Our family will defiantly be attending the buddy walk again next year. The Chattanooga Down Syndrome Society was thrilled with this years turn out for The Buddy Walk. Last year they had
close to 400 walkers this year the had a little over 800! They also gave out prises to the oldest and youngest person with Ds at the walk. The oldest was a lady who was 45, and the youngest was a 3 week old baby! This was a great way to start off Jonathan's birthday, a huge switch from 12 years ago on the day he was born. I count our blessings daily for Jonathan.