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Buddy Walk to raise funds, awareness for Down Syndrome

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About a thousand people are expected to participate in the 14th Annual Buddy Walk this Saturday at the Spring River Park and Zoo. The event is organized by the Down Syndrome Foundation of Southeastern New Mexico.

“It’s our major fundraiser and awareness event of the year,” said Executive Director Bethany Johnston. “A good portion of the event is about supporting the people with Down Syndrome. We recognize they have dreams and are capable of achieving those dreams, so we are here to support them with that.”

Johnston said that about 900 people have registered so far, with another 100 or so expected to do so prior to or during the event. Registration the day of the event begins at 8 a.m., with the 1-mile walk around the park expected to begin at 9 a.m. So far, $45,280 has been raised toward the $67,500 goal.

“You definitely don’t have to walk, though,” said Johnston. “You can just come out to show support.”

The event also will feature lunch for participants, entertainment and jolly jumps, and vendor and information booths. A talent show featuring local youth is scheduled to begin at noon. The day’s activities are slated to conclude by 1 p.m. More information is available on the foundation’s website, ds-stride.org/senmbuddywalk.

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