Manson, IA--The Northwest Iowa Down Syndrome Society (NWIDSS) is pleased to announce its 7th Annual Buddy Walk will be held on Sunday, September 30 at Twin Lakes Bible Camp located on the west shore of beautiful North Twin Lakes near Manson.
Schedule of Events
This promises to be a fun-filled afternoon for the entire family:
• Registration begins at 1pm in the big Round Barn located on the grounds of Twin Lakes Bible Camp.
• The Buddy Walk starts at 1:30pm and walking through the grounds of the camp and along the bike trail near the lake.
• An Ice cream social and S’mores by the campfire will follow the Buddy Walk near the big Round Barn.
• Silent auction is open from 1-3pm
o All bids will be closed and winners announced at 3pm.
o All silent auction items will be on display in the big Round Barn.
• Pumpkin Fest activities provided by Twin Lakes Bible Camp will be open and available to all families from 2:30-5pm.
o Activities include a corn maze, pumpkin patch, giant corn pool, hay rack rides, campfire with S’mores, and Fall Fest play area.
Individual registration is $12/person and family registration (for all members of your immediate family) is $35/family. Team registration (for teams up to 10 people) is $60. All registration fees include a Buddy Walk t-shirt. To register you may contact Donna Seehusen, NWIDSS Treasurer, at 712-335-3279. Registrations will also be accepted on site.
Northwest Iowa Down Syndrome Society
The Buddy Walk serves as the largest fundraising event for the NWIDSS, and proceeds from the Buddy Walk are used to promote, educate and advocate for those with Down Syndrome throughout NW Iowa. The proceeds also assist the NWIDSS in providing parent information packets and reference materials to area hospitals. The NWIDSS donated a portion of its proceeds last year to both the National Down Syndrome Society and the National Down Syndrome Congress for use with their national projects to promote education, research, advocacy, and awareness programs.
Faith, Hope & Charity (www.faithhopeandcharity.org) in Storm Lake has stepped up this year as a partner for the NWIDSS Buddy Walk. “We are excited about the great things this local Buddy Walk has done for the families in the area dealing with Down Syndrome,” said FHC Development Director Stephanie Beck, “And we are pleased to be a partner this year, with the goal of making this fundraiser even more successful for the NWIDSS.”
One of the main projects and goals has been the scholarship program to allow area families to attend the national convention held each summer and sponsored by the National Down Syndrome Congress. Living in a more rural area, many families do not have as easy access to resource materials, support functions, and other valuable information to assist in raising children with special needs and services. Over the last 6 years, the NW Iowa Down Syndrome Society has provided over $13,500 to area families to assist them in offsetting their expenses to attend the national convention.
The NWIDSS started a new program this year, and used funds from its Buddy Walk in 2011 to donate three Apple iPads to Prairie Lakes AEA. Two of the iPads are used by AEA staff to assist area families in the educational and communication needs of their child. One of the iPads has been donated to a local family to assist their son with his communication goals and needs. Due to the success of the iPad program, more iPads will be purchased and donated to Prairie Lakes AEA and area families later this year and into 2013.
What is the Buddy Walk?
The Buddy Walk was created by the National Down Syndrome Society in 1995 in celebration of October as National Down Syndrome Awareness Month and to promote acceptance and inclusion of individuals with Down Syndrome. It’s a one mile walk that anyone can participate in without special training. The Buddy Walk has established itself as the premier advocacy event for Down Syndrome.
The purpose of the Buddy Walk is two-fold: to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome and to raise funds for local and national education, research, and advocacy programs. The Walks – which involve children and adults with Down Syndrome, their families and friends and thousands of local supporters – spread the message that individuals with Down Syndrome possess a wide range of abilities, are active in the community, and are more like us than different.
“The inaugural Buddy Walk for our organization was held in Spencer in October 2006, then in 2007 we moved it to Storm Lake, traveled to Algona in 2008 and Fort Dodge in 2009, returned to Spencer in 2010, and was held at Arnolds Park and Lake Okoboji in 2011. For our 7th year we are bringing our walk to Twin Lakes Bible Camp and North Twin Lakes near Manson. In our endeavor to reach as many families, friends, co-workers, teachers, medical care providers, and others associated with those touched by Down syndrome, we rotate the event around NW Iowa to different communities to give each community a chance to learn about our organization. We are also increasing awareness of Down Syndrome in those communities we visit each year and spreading the message that our children and adults with Down Syndrome are more like us than different – referencing the “We’re More Alike Than Different” national awareness campaign by the National Down Syndrome Congress,” commented Scott Hallgren, President of the NW Iowa Down Syndrome Society.
For further questions about the 2012 Buddy Walk or the NWIDSS, you may contact Scott or Trudy Hallgren at 712-580-6671. All the families involved with our organization are excited to share this day with you—please come and walk with us to raise awareness of those with Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities, and help us raise the needed dollars to assist us in meeting our goals of educational programming and awareness right here in NW Iowa.
Please check us out on Facebook and ‘Like Us’ as a friend of the NW Iowa Down Syndrome Society. You can find us on Facebook under Northwest Iowa Down Syndrome Society. Additional information on our 2012 Walk, photos, and other information on our organization is on our Facebook page.