Published on September 27th, 2017 | by Intern Intern0
October Brings Awareness to Down Syndrome
Down Syndrome Awareness Month is celebrated nationally throughout the month of October. In North Mississippi, the annual Buddy Walk in Oxford has proven to be an event greatly supported by community members throughout Lafayette County and beyond. Oxford’s fourth Buddy Walk will take place at the Old Armory Pavilion on Sunday, October 15 at 1 p.m.
“What started out as a pie-in-the-sky idea has turned out to be a wonderful fundraiser for our organization,” said 21 United of Mississippi president Scott Thompson. “We have done some pretty cool things with the money raised, and we have a big announcement about future plans when everyone gathers for the walk.”
Two years ago, 21 United organized a summer camp for Down syndrome families. Money earned at Buddy Walk events has provided partial and full camp scholarships for all participants. The summer camp, held at Camp Hopewell, gives children an opportunity to enjoy typical camp activities while parents take time for networking and educational sessions.
According to Thompson, the summer camp is a welcome break for all participants. “Because of health issues related to Down syndrome, individuals spend countless hours in multiple therapies. Our buddies work so hard to improve fine and gross motor skills as well as language skills, and parents spend a vast amount of time getting their children to and from therapies and doctor appointments. Summer camp allows campers to take part in typical camp experiences while parents network, play games with their children and have someone else cook for a change.”
The Sunday afternoon event will start at 1:00 p.m. Music will be provided by DJ Sammy Kim. In addition to the walk and music, the event will include food and beverages, bounce houses, face painting, kids’ games, a photo booth, petting zoo, fire trucks and police cruisers and a t-shirt for all participants. The walk will start at the Old Armory Pavilion and go to Oxford Junior High School and back.
Registration for the 2017 walk has begun and is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 13 and under. Buddy Walk friends with special needs may participate for free. Online registration is open, and participants are encouraged to pre-register at www.21united.org.