Thursday, September 1, 2011

Over 285,000 Americans are Expected to Walk this Fall in Support of Down Syndrome Awareness

The National Buddy Walk® Program Encourages Participants to Take Strides Towards Acceptance and Inclusion for People with Down Syndrome

New York, NY, August 1, 2011 - The 2011 Buddy Walk® Program begins this fall and will make its way across the country. The program has run annually since 1995, kicking off in September and lasting through November. Each Buddy Walk takes place in or around October, in celebration of Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
  
Four Buddy Walks are scheduled in Montana:


Oct 8, 2011 Great Falls Under The Big Sky Buddy Walk
Oct 1, 2011 Billings Billings Buddy Walk
Sep 24, 2011 Bozeman Dream Buddy Walk
Sep 24, 2011 Missoula Missoula Buddy Walk


For details, visit: Walks for Montana


The Buddy Walk is supported by celebrities who lend their talent to the program by appearing in the PSA. These include TV Hosts Nancy O'Dell and Meredith Vieira, Actor and NDSS Goodwill Ambassador Chris Burke, and Baseball Star Albert Pujols, among others.
  
"It's very important to raise awareness and make a difference for people with Down syndrome by participating in a Buddy Walk. The focus is not on our disabilities, but on our abilities that count," said Actor and NDSS Goodwill Ambassador Chris Burke. "At the Buddy Walk, we all walk together."
  
The National Buddy Walk Program welcomes participants of all ages and abilities. The goals of the program are to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and to positively influence local and national policy and practice. Last year alone, Buddy Walk events raised more than $11.2 million to benefit national education and advocacy initiatives, as well as local programs and services. All funds raised through the National Buddy Walk Program support both local and national programs.
  
My Great Story, the National Down Syndrome Society's public awareness campaign, features a section exclusively devoted to the Buddy Walk. All are encouraged to submit their stories, or to vote and comment on those already in the collection. Visit www.ndss.org/stories to view the collection and share your own Buddy Walk story.
  
The 2011 Buddy Walk National Partners are Regal Entertainment Group, Knology, Okobos and Signing Time.
  
About Buddy Walk
In the past 17 years, the Buddy Walk program has grown from 17 Walks to over 250 Buddy Walk events taking place in cities across the country and in select international locations. To learn more, visit www.buddywalk.org or click here to find a Buddy Walk near you.
  
About NDSS
The National Down Syndrome Society is a nonprofit organization representing the approximately 400,000 Americans who have this genetic condition. NDSS is committed to being the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. To learn more about NDSS, visit http://www.ndss.org/.  

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