The Down Syndrome Association of Western Kentucky (DSAWK) invites you to the 17th Annual Buddy Walk™. It's being held on Saturday, October 27 at Noble Park in Paducah. The Buddy Walk™ is a short walk that provides a way to share the strengths, talents and abilities of those with Down syndrome, their families and friends.

Registration begins at noon at Pavilion 16. The event includes fun activities including inflatables for the children, face painting, music and food. The talent show will begin at 1 pm and the official program at 2 pm.

The Buddy Walk® was developed by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) in 1995 to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. That first year there were 17 walks. As of 2017, the Buddy Walk® has grown to more than 330,000 participants raising $14.2 million in more than 250 events around the world.

The money raised by the Buddy Walk® benefits local programs and services. Additionally, it helps to fund national advocacy and public awareness initiatives of NDSS that benefit all individuals with Down syndrome.

DSAWK is also known locally as Ups-N-Downs. They hold regular outings for individuals with Down syndrome and their families. The Buddy Walk is really a full day of celebration of the Down syndrome community, including individuals with Down syndrome and the family, friends, and community members who support them and advocate with them.

"If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart,” Organizer Sherie Boyett of Boyett Trucking told me. “Come to the buddy walk and see the world through the eyes of unconditional love."

For more information, please contact the Down Syndrome Association of Western Kentucky / Ups-N-Downs at 270.564.0949 or 270.559.9026.

DSAWK strives to promote public awareness and acceptance of individuals with Down syndrome by providing information, resources and support in our community.

Locally DSAWK provide doctors and hospitals with new parent packs and phone numbers of members for support. When possible they go to be with families having surgery. They host social events throughout the year, approximately one per quarter,  designed to connect with new families so members can see the support thats available.  DSAWK helps families obtain medical coverage or additional coverage, therapies, and respite, regardless of their income.

Visit http://www.dsawk.com/ for more information or how to get involved.

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