Buddy Walk

Over the weekend, I attended the annual Wiregrass Area Buddy Walk at Landmark Park in my hometown. This year over 1500 people attended the walk. The Buddy Walk is designed to raise money and, more importantly, awareness for the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Organization (Families Reaching, Influencing, Educating, and Networking for Down’s Syndrome). The organization’s mission is to foster a bias-free world for children with Down’s Syndrome.  Through fundraising events such as the Buddy Walk, the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. organization is able to teach the public about those living with Down’s Syndrome, bring families that are affected by Down’s Syndrome together, and to develop a community-wide support group.

Our day was filled with fun! We began opening ceremonies by gathering in a huge circle and singing “Happy Birthday” to everyone whose birthday falls during the month of October, which included me! Then, our local F.R.I.E.N.D.S. choir sang the National Anthem. After each team was introduced, we began the mile-long walk, which was followed by carnival games and lunch. I had such a blast watching families and “buddies” interact with one another. I am so fortunate to live in such an accepting and loving community!

This year, I was on Peyton’s Team. He is five years old and has Down’s Syndrome. Peyton is definitely a “social butterfly” and one of the sweetest little boys I know. Before the walk began, he walked around our circle and hugged every member of our team.
Parker is Peyton’s younger brother. When I babysit for their family, Parker is always so helpful! I love to watch Parker and Peyton play together. They love to watch Curious George and play with their puppies.
Caroline Crowley


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