|Local walk helps to raise national awareness for Down syndrome|
|Written by Katie Klein, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Thursday, 29 September 2011 20:30|
ISU and local organizations are lending a hand for the seventh annual Buddy Walk held by the Central Illinois Down Syndrome Organization.
Saturday’s one-mile walk will begin at Carden Park in Normal, where CIDSO is setting out to raise $20,000 for area programs like the ISU Adult Literacy Program, ISU Speech and Language Program and the grant and enrichment programs.
Ninety-five percent of the funds raised during the walk will stay in the community so CIDSO can continue to support area groups while the remaining funds will benefit the National Down Syndrome Society.
“The Buddy Walk was started in 1995 by the NDSS as a way to celebrate national Down syndrome awareness month and also to help promote the inclusion of those with Down syndrome,” Jean Bates, president of CIDSO, said.
CIDSO was founded in 1974 to serve Bloomington-Normal and the greater McLean county area. The group is a non-profit organization made up of families working to increase public awareness and support and improve opportunities for those touched by Down syndrome.
Bates added ISU has helped the walk to grow in support from participating groups like the ISU football team, Council for Exceptional Children, Students Serving Individuals with Disabilities as well as various fraternities and sororities.
The event also provides different types of entertainment for the families.
“There will be rock climbing, inflatable bounce houses, food, the Zoo Lady will be painting faces, a masseuse, a local dance club and other attractions will be here as well,” Bates said. “Reggie Redbird will even be popping up.”
Lauren Potter, better known as Becky from Glee, may make an appearance at the walk, if, Bates added, the actress’s film schedule allows her.
Pre-registration has ended, but there will be open registration, which begins at 8:30 a.m., with a $5 fee and at 10:00 a.m. the Buddy Walk will officially kickoff.
For more information on the Buddy Walk visit their website at www.cidso.org or call (309) 452-3264.