Photo Credit: Dottie Foley Photography www.dottiefoley.com
The month of October is National Down Syndrome Awareness month so our family decided to participate in our local Buddy Walk presented by the Chester County Down Syndrome Interest Group. The Buddy Walk is a one-mile walk and family fun day that celebrates the many abilities and accomplishments of people with Down Syndrome. The 12th annual event was held Sunday, October 14th at West Goshen Community Park in West Chester. When we arrived on that beautiful afternoon, we heard a talented CCDSIG member singing the national anthem to kick off the event, and I knew this was going to be an inspirational day. We had preregistered online so check-in was quick and easy…and we even received goodie bags with event t-shirts, raffle tickets and all the materials we needed to enjoy the day. Once we had our gear, it was time to find our team for some pre-walk warm-ups. As if supporting the amazing work of the CCDSIG wasn’t reason enough to participate, we were also there to cheer on our son’s little buddy who is also named Jack.:) Alana and Jason, the proud parents of this handsome, charming 16-month old, organized “The Jack Pack” to support their little man and we were honored to be a part of the team.
Jacks and their mommies
Jack cheering on the team with his "Jack on a Stick"
Jack and Mini Cooper (from Quest Therapeutic Services where Alana works as a physical therapist) who also walked with our team
Once our team was gathered and group photos were taken, we were off! The scenic route took us for a leisurely loop around the park back to the festivities where a pep squad cheered us across the finish line. Walk events, which are usually held in the spring and fall, are the perfect way to introduce your kids to the world of non-profit fundraisers because they usually have a lot of fun activities for your family. From carnival games and a magic show, to the Pocono Raceway Pace Car and gift basket giveaways, not to mention all of the healthy and delicious food choices, this event committee thought of everything you could possibly need to enjoy a fun day at the park. And to bring the focus back to the reason we were all there that afternoon, the event ended with a Showcase of Abilities where several of the CCDSIG members showed off their talents including singing, dancing and playing musical instruments. Reminding us that people with Down Syndrome really are “more alike than different.” If you missed this year’s event, save the date for the second Sunday in October 2013! This is an inspirational, fun-filled day that we know your family would enjoy as much as we did! To learn more about the Chester County Down Syndrome Interest Group and how you can support their mission, visit www.ccdsig.org