While I'm on the subject of the Buddy Walk, I'd like to share some of its history with you.
The Buddy Walk program was established in 1995 and has become the premier advocacy event for Down syndrome in the United States. It is also the world's most widely recognized public awareness program for the Down syndrome community.
These milestones show how the program has grown!
- Seventeen Buddy Walk events took place across the country.
- Chris Burke led the flagship New York City Buddy Walk.
- The Times Square video was introduced.
- A new Buddy Walk logo was introduced, the blue and yellow graphic of a family holding hands.
- More than 100 Buddy Walk events took place.
- More than 190 Buddy Walk events took place in 49 states and five countries with over 180,000 participants raising more than $2.5 million.
- More than 210 Buddy Walk events took place with over 200,000 participants raising more than $4.5 million.
- More than 250 Buddy Walk events took place with over 200,000 participants raising more than $5.5 million.
- The Buddy Walk public service announcement was played nationwide at all Regal Cinemas before every movie for two weeks to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month and the Buddy Walk program.
- More than 250 Buddy Walk events took place with over 250,000 participants raising more than $10.5 million.
- The first Buddy Walk held on a military base in a combat zone took place at Camp Phoenix in Kabul, Afghanistan.
- The first Buddy Walk in Japan was held at Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa.
- More than 250 Buddy Walk events took place with over 295,000 participants raising more than $11.75 million.
- The Buddy Walk has been ranked in the top 30 fundraising events nationwide for: money raised, number of participants, and best series event since 2008.
source: National Down Syndrome Society
These twin girls (holding the banner) are so funny and fun-loving...and were raised by their single mother who is totally deaf. The word that comes to mind is fortitude. It is wonderful to see how the members of this family help and support one another.