About the Buddy Walk

The Buddy Walk was created by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) in 1995 to celebrate October’s National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, as well as provide an annual public platform for advocacy. The walk unites individuals with Down syndrome and their invited “buddies,” which include everyone from friends and family to teachers, co-workers and community leaders. The walk promotes acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and raises funds for Down syndrome education, research and advocacy programs.

The walk has grown from 17 walks in 1995 to more than 275 walks expected across the country and around the world in 2007. There are three primary goals to the Buddy Walk—to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome; to raise the funds necessary to develop innovative and effective local and national programs; and to enhance the position of the Down syndrome community, enabling positive influence in local and national policy and practice.

The Des Moines Buddy Walk, in its 10th year, spans approximately one mile, and anyone can participate without special training. Pledges raised by walkers help to provide support to individuals with Down syndrome, as well as their families and the community. The Up with Down Family Support Group utilizes Buddy Walk funds to support the group’s educational and social programs; to enable the distribution of New Parent Packets to local hospitals; and to support targeted programs such as “Read It and Reap,” a program in which updated books on Down syndrome-related topics are purchased and donated to local libraries. The group also gifts 30% of the funds raised by the Buddy Walk to the National Down Syndrome Society, which helps fund ongoing national education, advocacy and awareness programs.

Buddy Walk Schedule

9:00 a.m. – Check-in and late registration
10:00 a.m. – Walk begins
11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. – Lunch and activities 

Join us for a day of fun, food and family at Prairieview School in Waukee for the 10th annual Up With Down Support Group Buddy Walk! The Buddy Walk will include a one-mile walk around the Waukee school complex, followed by a catered lunch and a variety of games and activities, including two bounce houses, a giant slide, DJ, and craft zone. There will also be a fundraising silent auction, merchandise for sale, and a number of exhibitors displaying their products and services.

Registration includes: 
Family Goody Bag

Don’t miss the Buddy Walk—brought to you by the Up with Down Family Support Group!



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