• 64°

Oxford to host annual Buddy Walk

Oxford’s third Buddy Walk will take place on Oct. 9 at the Old Armory Pavilion on the corner of Bramlett Blvd. and University Ave. in Oxford.  Sponsored by 21 United of Mississippi, this event aims to continue attracting participation from residents throughout northern Mississippi and from bordering states.

“The success of our previous two Buddy Walks has allowed our organization to achieve a dream we have been planning for a while,” said Jenny Rayner, president of 21 United.  “This summer we hosted our first camp for Down syndrome families at Camp Hopewell.”

Money earned at Buddy Walk events allowed 21 United to provide partial and full camp scholarships for all participants.  The summer camp gave children an opportunity to enjoy typical camp activities while parents had time for networking and educational sessions.

“Many people do not realize that those of us blessed with children who have Down syndrome deal with a lot of medical issues and therapies,” said Rayner.  “The scholarships, made possible by our Buddy Walks, made attendance easier for families who already have so much going on.”

The Sunday afternoon event will start at 1:00 p.m.  Live music will take place along with a welcome by Ole Miss Director of Athletics Ross Bjork prior to the walk.  More music will follow the walk before the event closes out.  In addition to the walk and the live music, the event will include food and beverages, bounce houses, face painting, kids’ games, fire trucks and police cruisers and a t-shirt for all participants.

Registration for the 2016 walk has begun and is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 13 and under.  Buddy Walk friends with special needs may participate for free.  Online registration is open, and participants are encouraged to pre-register at www.21united.org.

21 United of Mississippi is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the inclusion, value and acceptance of individuals with Down syndrome.  Proceeds from the Buddy Walk will be used for new parent packets, educational meetings, networking events and camp scholarships.