AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Thousands turned out Saturday for the 20th annual Buddy Walk over at Sam Houston Park hosted by the Panhandle Down Syndrome Guild.
Jeff Medford, treasurer with the Panhandle Down Syndrome Guild said that Saturday is a day of celebration.
“We have our sponsors, and our physicians and therapists in the community join us. The same ones that are teaching our kids to talk, get to play on the bouncy carts, and eat hamburgers with each other,” said Medford.
Medford added that Panhandle Down Syndrome Guild is a support group to help provide resources all across the High Plains for those with down syndrome.
Brandon Anderson, who has participated in the Buddy Walk for over five years said it is so cool to celebrate like a family.
“It’s cool to see all kinds of smiling faces of all people together having a good time and allowing these kids to have a special day,” said Anderson.
Medford said the Buddy Walk is critical to get the word out that there are resources available for people with down syndrome on the panhandle.
“When we had our child with down syndrome, we didn’t know she had down syndrome. I remember sitting in the hospital kind of in shock like what does this mean. We had parents from the community show up at our house bring their kids showing us, everything is going to be all right. That’s why we are in this, we are in this to spread that message to other families,” added Medford.
A majority of the funds raised at the Buddy Walk stay here on the High Plains to help new parents whose child is born with down syndrome and to provide other means for the Panhandle Down Syndrome Guild.
Medford said the guild is looking to partner with the community to bring jobs and other activities to adults with down syndrome.