The event, called the Buddy Walk, is a one-mile walk created in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to promote acceptance and inclusion of those with Down syndrome

Hundreds will gather to raise awareness of Down syndrome Saturday during a music- and activity-filled afternoon at Highland Park in Endicott.

The event, called the Buddy Walk, centers on a one-mile walk created in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to promote acceptance and inclusion of those with Down syndrome. Locally, the Down Syndrome Information Network of STNY has organized the event for 17 years.

Down syndrome is caused by a specific section of DNA that affects physical and mental development. It continues to be the most commonly diagnosed chromosomal disorder in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 6,000 babies born each year, or one in every 700, have Down syndrome.

The event usually draws about 700 attendees, said local Buddy Walk organizer Rebecca Kennis. The event is open to everyone, not just those with a connection to Down syndrome, she said.

The cost is $5 plus a canned food for CHOW, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse. Registration for the event will begin at 11:30 a.m. and the walk will start at noon. The cost of the event includes a T-shirt, food, the chance to meet mascots from various sports’ teams, games for children, yoga demonstrations and live musical performances. Birdie Rittenburg, an event co-chair diagnosed with Down syndrome, will perform the national anthem on the keyboard.

A booth will provide information about Down syndrome.

“Our walk is not so much focused on raising funds, but raising awareness that people with Down syndrome can have very productive, well-balanced and happy lives,” Kennis said.

For more information about the Buddy Walk or to volunteer, call Rebecca Kennis at (607) 759-0759

To see the full article, go to: http://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/connections/buzz/2015/09/15/buddy-walk-at-highland-park-for-down-syndrome/72309340/


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