This time of year at Hunsader Farms isn’t just for corn maze wandering and trying to pick the perfect pumpkin at the annual Pumpkin Festival. It’s also time for one of the area’s most popular fundraisers, the Buddy Walk. The annual event on Saturday, October 21st aims to bring the community together and raise awareness, acceptance, and support for individuals with Down syndrome.
October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month but the organizers of this event, Manasota B.U.D.S. (which stands for “Bringing Up Down Syndrome”), are dedicated to this cause year round.
“Our Mission is to provide families with a neutral and supportive forum for sharing and networking, and to promote understanding and acceptance of Down syndrome.”
There are approximately 1/4 million families in the United States affected by Down syndrome. Individuals with Down syndrome benefit from loving homes, early intervention, inclusive education, appropriate medical care and positive public attitudes. The Buddy Walk hopes to celebrate and lift up each focus.
Whether you or someone you love is affected by Down syndrome, or if you just want to show your support for this incredible group of people, all are invited and encouraged to take part in this family-friendly event. There will be activities and entertainment for every member of the family, a leisure one mile walk, and lots of new friendships created along the way.
The Buddy Walk, in its 15th year in Manatee County, has been a pivotal driver for funds for this impactful volunteer organization and their commitment to this mission.
Registration is only $15 to participate and includes admission and a t-shirt.
Even better, because they’re a volunteer organization, your donation goes straight to the kids. $30 will pay for a one hour Art or Music Therapy session. $50 will pay for hospital packets and materials for newborn babies. Every donation helps provide formative resources and materials.
photos from Manasota Buds