The 2017 Buddy Walk is the 14th Annual event here in Wichita, spun off the national Buddy Walk for persons with Down syndrome. In its first year in 2003, the Wichita walk attracted a little over 100 participants and raised $100. After 12 years, the event has grown to over 2,500 participants in celebration of the members of our community with Down Syndrome and in support of the Down Syndrome Society of Wichita, raising over $80,000.
This special community event promotes acceptance and inclusion for individuals with Down syndrome.
This is the primary event for the Down Syndrome Society of Wichita, a 501(c)3 organization that provides education, advocacy, and support for individuals with Down Syndrome in South Central Kansas. Families are served in the Wichita area along with Hutchinson, El Dorado, Newton, Garden City, and other small communities in the southern region of Kansas. Our goal is to reach $95,000 in support of additional educational programs for summer and learning beyond the classroom, including health, hygiene and wellness, in addition to providing in-depth parenting conferences to address special needs, in-school topics and support for families who have high frequency of travel and challenges for their children born with health issues.
Many families, caregivers and health providers join the event in support and celebration. Free lunch is provided along with a free shirt and prizes. Registration is $10 for children and $15 for adults.
All participants with Down syndrome are free.
Any corporate gifts received will go directly to assist with the cost of the event supplies in order to accommodate all registered participants, which in turn allows for the registration and proceeds to go back to the organization to fund programs for development, growth and connecting families.