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Nanz team No. 1 for Buddy Walk

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Gabriel’s Road Warriors was the No. 1 team for Saturday’s 14th annual Buddy Walk, which raises money for families and individuals dealing with Down Syndrome and increases awareness about the issues affecting their lives. Gabriel Nanz’s team had the most participants at 164 and raised the most money, $6,145 by early Saturday morning. His family and friends, which include mom Joleen Leo and dad Nick Nanz, a member of the Down Syndrome Foundation of Southeastern New Mexico, have been participating in the local fundraiser and awareness campaign for about seven years. This year’s crowd filled Spring River Park and Zoo, with the morning event featuring games and entertainment, information sharing by health care vendors, a one mile walk, dance and cheer performances by local squads and Roswell fire and Chaves County sheriff’s personnel and their vehicles. A talent show was also scheduled. The event had a $67,500 goal, and Nanz said the money will be used by the local organization to provide needed services to those with Down Syndrome. “We help them with physical therapy, with speech classes,” he said. “We pay for cooking classes or educational courses — any way we can help them reach their full potential and realize their dreams.” (Lisa Dunlap Photo)