Thousands to walk for a cause

On Saturday, Sept. 17, more than 4,000 people will gather at Newport on the Levee for the 4th annual Buddy Walk. The Buddy Walk is a fundraiser for the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati.

Debbie Baker, event coordinator for the DSAGC said, “The Buddy Walk is really a celebration for people whose lives have been touched by Down syndrome.”

The DSAGC is a non-profit organization that helps people who are living with Down syndrome and the Buddy Walk is their largest fund-raiser of the year.

Mandy Schmidt, a Northern Kentucky University student who plans to walk on Saturday, said, “I want to walk because I think it’s a great way to help the people in my community.” Although there are currently no students registered with Down syndrome at NKU, the DSAGC helps 800 families in the tri-state.

“We don’t just help the individual,” Baker said, “We help the families, friends, educators and communities of people living with Down syndrome.”

The Buddy Walk is hoping to raise $200,000 and have 4,500 walkers. Many walkers have created teams of friends and families, but anyone can walk. The day’s festivities, including breakfast and music, will begin at 8 a.m. and the walk will begin at 9 a.m. Anyone can register to walk and receive a T-shirt, while they last, but a donation is recommended.

There will be two walk routes. One is one and a half miles long and stays in the Newport area and the other is two and a half miles and crosses the Purple People Bridge and loops through Cincinnati.