Eighth annual Buddy Walk to be held this month

Published 3:30 pm Thursday, October 6, 2022

Oxford’s annual Buddy Walk will take place on Oct. 23 at the Old Armory Pavilion. Sponsored by 21 United of Mississippi, this event attracts participation from residents throughout Lafayette and surrounding counties as well as from outside the state of Mississippi.

“Our community has always enjoyed this event, and we are excited to see all of our friends and family coming together again for a great cause,” said Jenny Rayner, president of 21 United. “The Buddy Walk is for people of all ages and abilities, and we look forward to presenting this family-friendly event on a weekend when no football is in town.”

The Sunday afternoon event will start at 2 p.m. DJ Sammy Kim will again provide music. Medal presentations and the walk are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. In addition to the walk, the event will include food and beverages, fire trucks, kids’ games and a t-shirt for participants.

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Walker registration is $15. Buddy Walk friends with special needs may participate for free. Participants are encouraged to pre-register online at ds-stride.org/21unitedbuddywalk. A link to registration can also be found on 21 United’s Facebook page.

“This event largely funds our annual summer camp for Down syndrome families,” said Rayner. “A Covid outbreak forced us to pause this summer’s camp. However, it is rescheduled to take place earlier this month. We are so thankful to all who help make this special camp possible for our loved ones.”

Created by three Oxford families, 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 are used for new parent packets, educational meetings, networking events and camp scholarships.

Sponsors for this event are needed, and opportunities exist for businesses and individuals who wish to generate goodwill. To learn more about sponsorship levels, contact Jenny Rayner at 662-380-0577 or jennyrayner@gmail.com.