• 79°

Sixth annual Buddy Walk set for October

The sixth-annual Buddy Walk will take place on Oct. 13 at the Old Armory Pavilion. Sponsored by 21 United of Mississippi, the event attracts participants from throughout Lafayette Counties and surrounding counties.

“We have been very fortunate to have great support these past six year,” said Scott Thompson, president of 21 United. “This is truly a community event. Look at our participants. Those with Down Syndrome are actually in the minority at this event.”

The event will begin at 2 p.m. and music will be provided throughout the day by DJ Sammy Kim. Medal presentations and the walk are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. There will be balloon animals, a magic show, bounce houses, face painting, fire trucks and games for the kids. A t-shirt will be provided for all participants.

The Buddy Walk held its first event at Bailey Branch Park in 2014, but has had to move it to a larger venue due to its growth over the years.

Registration for the walk is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 13 and under. Buddy Walk friends with special needs will be allowed to participate for free. Participants can pre-register online at www.21united.org. There is also a registration link on 21 United’s Facebook page.

Funds raised from the Buddy Walk have allowed 21 United to host a summer camp for children with Down Syndrome and members of their immediate family.

“This summer, we completely booked up the camp for the first time,” Thompson said. “We now have to move the camp date to free up more cabin space. Its success can be attributed 100 percent to the support of the Buddy Walk.”

21 United is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the inclusion, value and acceptance of individuals with Down Syndrome, that was created by three Oxford families. Other proceeds from the Buddy Walk go towards new parent packets, educational meetings, networking events and camp scholarships.

Sponsors are still needed for this year’s Buddy Walk. To learn more about sponsoring contact Thompson at 662-816-9898 or thompson@olemiss.edu.