The 11th-annual Down syndrome Buddy Walk will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 5 at Jim Wood Park in Steubenville's West End with a goal to raise $20,000.
Registration begins at 11 a.m. with the walk itself beginning at 3 p.m. There is a $5 fee to walk.
The purpose of the Buddy Walk is to promote inclusion and acceptance of adults and children with Down syndrome, according to Carissa Sentich, president of the Ohio Valley Down Syndrome Support Group, event organizer.
"Although we are seeing more interaction with the Down syndrome population, we still have room for more opportunities," Sentich said. "This event invites family members, co-workers, neighbors, church families, peers and 'buddies' to join together in celebration of the lives and friendships of those with Down syndrome," Sentich said. "It shows the community that our children are more like other children than unlike. It will touch your heart to see how much love and laughter can be in an individual," she said.
The Buddy Walk will include rides, games, food, music, pumpkin painting, door prizes, a 50-50 drawing and Chinese auction, according to Sentich. Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla will fingerprint children and help present medals to the 'buddies' upon conclusion of the walk.
Sponsors and drawing and door prize items are needed. Donors will have their names announced and advertised. Sponsorship levels include: gold, $500, large print on T-shirt; silver, $250, medium print on T-shirt; and bronze, $100, small print on T-shirt. Checks can be made out to OVDSSG and mailed to P.O. Box 267, Steubenville, OH 43952.
For information, contact Sentich at (740) 317-5277.