It is my pleasure to emcee a couple dozen or so events every year in our community. I probably shouldn’t choose favorites, but the Buddy Walk of the Down Syndrome Association is at the top of the list!
This year was the 20th anniversary of the Buddy Walk of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Winston-Salem. Things were a little bit different this year as a virtual event to keep our members, their families, volunteers, vendors, community service organizations, sponsors, and more than 1000 attendees safe and healthy. Of course, the only responsible choice was to convert this spectacular event to a virtual event.
Although we were virtual, the message and cause are as important as ever. For those of you who are not familiar with this event, the Buddy Walk celebrates the talents, gifts, and achievements of members of the Down syndrome community. It is a festive day full of fun, laughter, and maybe even a few happy tears.
Perhaps one reason this organization and this event are so special to me is that I was blessed to have a favorite cousin (please don’t tell my other cousins) with Down syndrome. She was a delight to everyone who knew her and put a smile on the face of everyone she came in contact with. These are special individuals who touch my heart in a way nothing else can.
If you know anyone with Down syndrome, then you know that despite the difficulties associated with this chromosomal abnormality, individuals with Down syndrome are some of the best examples in our community. They are driven, joyful, and make my everyday life a little bit better. Particularly during these crazy times, they are also a great example for all of us with their example of inclusion and acceptance. That is a great message for all of us.
The Facebook Live virtual Buddy Walk was so much fun – I hope you all got to watch it. Of course, we didn’t have the live talent show and many of the other on-stage festivities, but we did have some special festivities, highlighting the first ever “Walk Across Winston”. If you were unable to virtually attend this year, go ahead and get your team ready for next year!
The Buddy Walk is the primary fundraiser for the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Winston Salem. The effects of this event last the whole year and have a positive influence on our community. Please visit www.dsagws.org for more information.