RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - For many families with children with Down syndrome, the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada’s Buddy Walk® is the first introduction to the Down syndrome community and the resources available for people with disabilities in Northern Nevada.
Melissa Campau, the past president of the DSNNN, learned of the Buddy Walk when her daughter Jordan was only six days old. Melissa and family attended their first Buddy Walk, not knowing what to expect. She and her family collected information from the extensive resource fair and enjoyed activities at the walk.
“The best piece of information that I received at the walk was the extension of friendship in the form of a DSNNN business card”, Campau said. Weeks after the walk, Melissa connected with the DSNNN and has now been actively involved with the organization for more than 10 years. “Whether families take advantage of DSNNN programs or participate in the Buddy Walk, the best benefit is people coming together in support of each other with the understanding that people with Down syndrome are more alike than different,” she said.
The Down Syndrome Network will offer the 12th Annual Buddy Walk Saturday, September 23 from 8am to Noon at Greater Nevada Field. The event raises funds for the services offered by the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada, a local organization that empowers individuals with Down syndrome and their families to be fully included as valued members of our community. A portion of proceeds is also donated to the National Down Syndrome Society to fund research.
The 12th Annual Buddy Walk celebrates people with Down syndrome, as well as those who love and support them. The event begins with a pancake breakfast, features David DeSanctis, from the movie Where Hope Grows, fun activities for all ages and abilities, a fantastic raffle, special awards, and a resource fair featuring local businesses, nonprofits, and state agencies. The event concludes with a 2-lap walk to raise awareness for Down syndrome, and recognize the community for their diverse contributions.
The cost of registration is $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Students and children ages 5 and up are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Children under the age of five are FREE in advance and $5 at the door. All individuals with a disability are FREE. Attendees are encouraged to form teams, set fundraising goals and call on friends, family members, colleagues and community supporters to help them meet their goal.
The DSNNN also requests donations and sponsorships in support of families like the Campau’s and the Down syndrome community in Northern Nevada. To learn how you can become a sponsor, please call (775) 828-5159.