The 12th annual Chattanooga Buddy Walk will take place at AT&T Field, home of the Chattanooga Lookouts on Saturday, Oct. 13. More than 1,200 people are expected to attend the event, which is one of over 250 Walks across the country this fall to raise awareness and funds for programs that benefit people with Down syndrome and their families.
The Buddy Walk is supported by the return of some celebrities who lend their talent to the program by appearing in the national public service announcement. These include TV hosts, Nancy O'Dell and Meredith Vieira, and actors John C. McGinley and Chris Burke, among others.
"It's very important to raise awareness and make a difference for people with Down syndrome by participating in a Buddy Walk. The focus is not on our disabilities, but on our abilities that count," said actor and NDSS Goodwill Ambassador Chris Burke. "At the Buddy Walk, we all walk together."
The National Buddy Walk Program welcomes participants of all ages and abilities. The goals of the program are to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and to positively influence local and national policy and practice. Last year alone, Buddy Walk events raised more than $11 million to benefit national advocacy initiatives, as well as local programs and services. All funds raised through the National Buddy Walk Program support both local and national programs.
The Chattanooga Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk will feature live music by DJ Joe Nabors, Inflatable Obstacle Courses, Inflatable slides, Face Painting, Snoopy, Looie from the Chattanooga Lookouts and other fun activities. Participants will also enjoy a pizza lunch, cotton candy and popcorn. To learn more, visit www.buddywalk.org, or www.chattanoogadownsyndrome.org.
My Great Story, the National Down Syndrome Society's public awareness campaign, features a section exclusively devoted to the Buddy Walk. All are encouraged to submit their stories, or to vote and comment on those already in the collection. Visit www.ndss.org/stories to view the collection and share your own Buddy Walk story.
Corporate sponsors making this this event possible are Mr T’s Pizza, Chattanooga Bakery/Moon Pie, Republic Parking, The Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, Tuftco, Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, Sequatchie Valley Electric Cooperative, UNUM, BCBS Community Trust, New Image Dental and EPB Fiber Optics.
The 2012 Buddy Walk National Partners are Regal Entertainment Group, Knology, Okobos, Signing Time, Down Syndrome Footprint, Vacation Roost and Imagination Movers.