MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The annual Buddy Walk is a fundraiser for the Coastal Alabama Down Syndrome Society. Cassie Samaj joins us via zoom to talk about what’s happening this coming Saturday morning starting at 8:30 in the morning.
Guest: We have switched locations because outgrew our downtown location. We will be hosting the walk at USS Alabama Memorial Battleship Park. We are excited to be in person this year rather than hosting a virtual walk like last year due to COVID. The general public is invited to come to share in this celebration of awareness.
What has changed?
Location for one, but due to COVID we have layered in safety precautions. We are asking that all walkers still wear their masks. We understand there are some that have medical issues or are very young and unable to, but we ask is that all walkers who are capable, to wear their masks. We have a lot of individuals that have compromised immune systems and this walk is about them, so let’s work hard to keep them safe. We will have sanitation stations throughout the park as well. Some of our activities have changed for safety reasons. This year we will have a dance floor for everyone to enjoy the DJ to its fullest. We will have crafts, games, and game trucks
The event is extremely important to us because we strive hard to raise awareness of Down syndrome. Many people have false ideas or misconceptions of what our individuals are capable of doing. We have many young adults holding down jobs and attending higher education programs including college. It may take them a little longer to master a skill but they can…and that’s what we should focus on.
How does this help the CADSS?
The Buddy Walk is our single fundraiser each year. The funds raised go to many initiatives. We are able to send parents and caregivers to conferences to become better educated about issues surrounding Down syndrome. We bring speakers to our group to help parents better navigate the world of IEPs and how to work with the school system to provide the education and support or kids deserve and are required to receive. We offer different programs for different age groups and families. Our Icebreakers group has been partaking in art lessons throughout the past year. We have partnered with Coastal Makers Art Studio to help bring the artist out of our individuals. We host parent/child playdates for our younger children. We Rock the Spectrum in Daphne has hosted many of the events. It’s a great opportunity for our kids to play together and for the parent to shares their challenges and their successes. We are each other’s best resource. We have also been able to purchase pediatric treadmills to help our little one while learning to walk and we have purchased adaptive tricycles to help teach them to ride a bike, a skill that is very hard for them to learn.