15th Annual Panhandle Down Syndrome Guild BuddyWalk

Saturday, October 01, 2016


Our Buddy Walk® theme this year is Superheroes.  We are going to have a lot of fun with this.  Please wear your own costume, or let us provide you with a special commemorative Superhero cape at the walk.  Let everyone know you are a hero to us for supporting this great cause!

Online registration with guaranteed shirt size and cape will close on Friday, September 30 to prepare for the event; however, you can still register at the Walk.  Donations will be accepted online through the weekend.

The Buddy Walk was developed by the National Down Syndrome Society in 1995 to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.  It has since become the premier advocacy event for Down syndrome in the United States and is the world's most widely recognized public awareness program for the Down syndrome community.

The Buddy Walk has grown from 17 walks in 1995 to nearly 300 walks planned for 2016 worldwide.  In 2015, the Buddy Walk® nationally had another record breaking year with more than 315,000 participants raising nearly $13 million dollars in more than 250 events across the country and around the world.

The Panhandle Down Syndrome Guild (PDSG) has been hosting the walk in Amarillo, Texas since 2002.  Our walk is just as successful as the national organization.  We rank in the top 20% for attendance!  That puts us on par with cities that have three times as many people.  This is a testament to the great people in the Panhandle.

The PDSG Buddy Walk is a 1/2 mile walk around Sam Houston Park that turns into Amarillo’s best festival of the year.  This year, as always, registration starts at 9 AM and the Buddy Walk begins at 10 AM after announcements.  During the event, enjoy free food provided by United Supermarkets and other fine Panhandle companies, as well as foot tapping music.  We will have face painting, bouncers, slides, a silent auction, a bungee machine, rock climbing wall, a petting zoo hosted by the Highland Park ISD FFA program, and much, much more.  The Belmar Elementary School hula-hoopers will be there to entertain - and they are amazing.  As a special treat, public service heroes will be onsite with their equipment for you to see or explore, including a fire department truck, bomb squad equipment, police cruiser, and ambulances.  The party lasts until 1 PM.  This is the most fun you can have in a park that is legal, and is perfect for all ages.  Everyone is welcome.

This event is guaranteed for fun, but more importantly you get to be a part of a joyous celebration.  It is free to attend, but donations are encouraged and prizes awarded for funds raised.  Rain Plans - This is the only day around here we don't pray for rain.  The event will proceed rain or shine.

If you care to support the PDSG, have your family and friends sponsor you with donations.  Those who raise money are eligible for prizes, including T-shirts, engraved insulated cups, portable high capacity power banks to recharge mobile devices, and Superhero capes!

Where does the Buddy Walk money go?

After expenses, 20% of our Buddy Walk proceeds are donated to the NDSS to support national advocacy and public awareness initiatives that serve individuals with Down syndrome.  This is the largest source of private funding for Down syndrome research in the world.  It is important work.  The rest is used here in the community for education and to help families with members who have Down syndrome.