It has been 9 years since a Buddy Walk has been held in Lincoln Nebraska, and we are excited to be bringing an official Buddy Walk back to the area in 2018. The Buddy Walk is being held on March 17th at Gateway Mall in Lincoln, and will allow families to spread awareness, have fun, win prizes and hopefully raise a little money too. Here are 7 reasons why you should consider supporting the 2018 Star City Buddy Walk.
1. It is Indoor! By walking inside Gateway Mall we get to do something that very few other walks around can do - guarantee a comfortable walking environment. The mall allows walkers the ability to shed their coats and wear their walk shirt with pride so that everyone in the community that comes to the mall that day can see that we support the Nebraska Down syndrome community.
2. It is an Open House. - As parents of children with Down syndrome we understand that Saturdays are busy and that large crowds can cause stress for some of our loved ones. By allowing walkers to walk anytime between 8 am and noon, we can allow families to come before the mall crowds arrive, fit an awareness activity into their hectic Saturday schedules, and spread awareness over a longer period of time.
3. We need to Spread Awareness, Every. Chance. We. Get. Comedians and video streaming services that feel it is OK to get a laugh and make money at the expense of people with an extra chromosome, Independent sellers mocking people with special needs. Kids being bullied at schools. People making inappropriate comments on feel good news stories involving Individuals with Down syndrome. These are all recent examples of why our advocacy efforts are needed. Individuals with Down syndrome are valuable members of society and by participating in awareness events, we can help educate others about the many strengths, abilities and gifts of those in the Trisomy 21 community. As our shirt logo says, Be the Change, because we are Lucky and Blessed!
4. Inclusion- For many of us inclusion is a daily battle that we fight in our schools and communities. One of our goals for the Star City Buddy Walk is to make sure that every family in the Nebraska Down syndrome community feels welcome and included at the Buddy Walk. It is important that we take this opportunity to advocate and spread awareness. Our registered VIP guests with Down syndrome get a free Buddy Walk t-shirt. Family members walking with them can come for free or order their own buddy walk shirt for just $15 ($18 shipped). Those who walk wearing Star City Buddy Walk t-shirts can earn raffle tickets by walking to try to win some great raffle prizes. Some of the prizes include a 4 Night 5 Day stay in Branson, Mo, a Down syndrome awareness basket, a family 4 pack of tickets to the Lincoln Children's Zoo, a Signing Time basket, restaurant gift cards and more. Walkers who earn raffle tickets can choose which prizes they want to try to win.
5. World Down Syndrome Day- We host our walk every year in March in Honor of World Down syndrome Day. March 21st, is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
6. St. Patrick's Day- This year our walk fell on St. Patrick's Day and we can't think of a better way to celebrate than to also honor our loved ones with Down syndrome.
7. Programming- While raising positive awareness about Down syndrome is the main goal of our walk, we are also a 501(c)(3) recognized non-profit who relies on donations from the community to help fund our advocacy efforts. Supporting our organization will help us continue to provide families with IEP Support, a Resource Library, Family Connections Events, New Parent and Medical Outreach, Advocacy Alerts and more We hope you will consider supporting our important work and mission.
Supporting Star City Buddy Walk is easy and there are many way you can help. You can register or donate on our website, form a team, walk as part of the general event or to just learn more about this fun, inclusive awareness walk. To share the fun with others, please print or share this .pdf flyer. Would you like a flyer that features your loved one with Down syndrome? We can do that too. Contact us to find out more. You can also donate in person at the event. We hope you will support the 2018 Star City Buddy Walk and celebrate those in the Nebraska Down syndrome community this March!
Down Syndrome Advocates in Action Nebraska, is a group for parents run by parents.