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Annual Event Brings Education, Advocacy, and Funding to the Forefront

The Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan (DSAWM), a non-profit organization that strives to enhance the lives of individuals with Down syndrome, invites the public to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month this October with the annual one-mile Buddy Walk on Saturday, October 10, 2009, at Millennium Park in Grand Rapids, MI from 9:30 am to 11:30 am.  

The Buddy Walk was developed by the National Down Syndrome Society in 1995 with the 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.

It is a one-mile walk in which anyone can participate. 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.

The Walk has grown from 17 Walks in 1995 to more than 250 nationwide – at least one in each state. With the growing number of walks taking place each year, the Down syndrome community  is able to speak with a unified and stronger voice on issues of policy that affect individuals with Down syndrome.  

“We are really excited about this year’s walk. Each year is bigger and better than the last,” Executive Director of DSAWM, Nancy Brozek said. “It is a great family event and a wonderful way to raise awareness regarding the abilities of people with Down syndrome.”

Last year, more than 1200 people attended the West Michigan Buddy Walk, raising over $75,000. Entertainment, prize giveaways, food and fun activities will be available for the whole family.  


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