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Fun Coast Down Syndrome Association Buddy Walk Saturday: Going for Goal

| October 3, 2011

The 2009 Buddy Walk in Central Park. (Fun Coast Down Syndrome Association)

They’re almost there: the Fun Coast Down Syndrome Association raised $17,748 so far this year, ahead of its annual Buddy Walk next Saturday, Oct. 8, in Palm Coast’s Town Center. The association is short just $2,252 to meet its fund-raising goal of $20,000. (You can contribute here.)

Saturday’s will be the association’s sixth annual walk. It’s taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Not to worry: the walk is just a mile long. Last year’s walk attracted 300 people in Central Park. The goal is around 500 (and yes, you can make it even if you intend to visit the Creekside Festival: Buddy Walk first, then Creekside.)

“People with Down syndrome, families, community leaders, friends, and local businesses join us to walk a one-mile course and then enjoy a picnic and family activities,” Lori Laughren, president of the association, says.

The first Buddy Walk was organized by the National Down Syndrome Society in 1995. It has since grown into an annual event featuring 300 communities worldwide. Last year’s Buddy Walk raised $11.2 million to benefit local programs and services, increase public awareness about Down Syndrome and further research.

Down syndrome is a genetic and so far untreatable variation: individuals with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes in each of their cells instead of 46. It affects people without regard to race, nationality or socio-economic background. Every year, some 5,000 children are born in the United States with the syndrome, affecting a quarter of a million families.

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