The 1-mile fun run/walk known as the Buddy Walk is set to return to UNC Charlotte Oct. 22.
Having been held in the Jerry Richardson Stadium for the past two years, the annual Buddy Walk, put on by the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte (DSAGC), will return to the football stadium for it’s third year at the University and will take place from 2-6 p.m.
During the event, families set up different tents and walk as teams with their children who have down syndrome. Different families like to name their teams after the child who is affected by Down Syndrome.
Last year, Lariviere had a team set up for her son who was born with Down Syndrome.
There will be bounce houses, arts and crafts and different games to play while waiting for the walk to start. Additionally, there will be more fun to have once the walk finished on the field of Jerry Richardson Stadium.
Each year, the Buddy Walk serves to increase Down Syndrome inclusiveness in the Charlotte community. It is also used as the single largest fundraiser that the DSAGC holds each year.
“People will see an inclusive community. They’ll see kids with down syndrom of all ages out there, just being a part of the group,” said Lariviere.
Similar to last year, many UNC Charlotte organizations are volunteering during the event.
Students involved in Greek life on campus are signed up to volunteer. Members of UNC Charlotte athletics also volunteer during the event and play games with the kids.
“Everybody at UNC Charlotte has been wonderful to work with,” Buddy Walk Executive Director Kathryn Lariviere said.
Last year, the Buddy Walk attracted 3,300 attendees and raised $204,000.
This year, Lariviere hopes attendance will be at least on par with what it was last year, attracting over 3,000 people and hopes that they can raise $225,000. A goal the DSAGC has already started collecting donations for. They have already reached over half that amount.
“It’s more than just about down syndrome, it’s about realizing that everybody is different and benefiting from being with people who have differences,” said Lariviere. “The Buddy Walk is our chance to show that individuals with down syndrome are valued members of the community,”
To donate or to learn more about the event, visit: http://bit.ly/DSAGCBuddyWalk2016.