By Amy Lukac
SC Staff Writer
The Sixth Annual Pocono Buddy Walk will be on Saturday, September 27, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Dansbury Park, 15 Day Street in East Stroudsburg.
The Buddy Walk program was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome.
The first Buddy Walk was held in 1992 and had 20 walkers. Last year’s walk included about 600 walkers and raised $10,000.
The Pocono Parents of Down Syndrome (PPODS) is a local parent support group that holds the Buddy Walk every fall in order to raise awareness and fundraise.
North PPODS will simultaneously be holding their second annual Buddy Ride.
Their event will end at Dansbury Park, where the motorcycle riders will join the festivities.
The walk will take place on the park’s large field, and teams and individuals will walk two to three laps.
Aside from the walk itself, there will be many activities, including small carnival games, crafts, face painting, a bounce house, a magic show, and more.
ESU students volunteer to help clean up, run carnival games, and help in food trucks.
“It’s a great opportunity for ESU students, many of them future Special Education and General Education majors, to learn about Down Syndrome and meet parents and families of these incredible children and young adults with Down Syndrome,” said Dr. Diane Cavanagh, a professor in ESU’s Special Education and Rehabilitation Department. Cavanagh is leading ESU’s involvement in the Buddy Walk.
Some student organizations that help every year include the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Best Buddies, Rehabilitative Services Student Organization (RSSO), and Sigma Pi Epsilon Delta.
If you or your club is interested in volunteering for the Buddy Walk, registering, or donating, go to www.poconobuddywalk.com or see Dr. Cavanagh in Stroud 106. If you would like more information about this cause, visit www.theppods.org.
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