Sara Swanson

Manchester residents participate in 12th annual Buddy Walk

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Kayley and Ashley Bobo take a quick break with Wil Taylor and Lila Harvey at the 12th annual Down Syndrome Support Team Buddy Walk. The walk in Washtenaw County is one of 250 Buddy Walks around the country.

Kayley and Ashley Bobo take a quick break with Wil Taylor and Lila Harvey at the 12th annual Down Syndrome Support Team Buddy Walk. The walk in Washtenaw County is one of 250 Buddy Walks around the country. Photo courtesy of Lynnelle A. Tans.

submitted by Lynnelle A. Tans

The Down Syndrome Support Team (DSST) held its 12th annual Buddy Walk on September 25, 2016. More than 850 people participated in the event at Gallup Park in Ann Arbor.

Manchester resident, Christie Taylor, serves on the DSST board of directors and Buddy Walk planning committee. “This year marks the 10th year my family has participated in the event,” said Taylor. “My family has met some lifelong friends while participating in the Buddy Walk. It is an amazing group of people who come together to celebrate people with Down Syndrome.”

This event raises awareness and funds to support local programs and services for individuals with Down Syndrome and their families. A few of the programs include: enrichment classes, speech and language therapy, and music therapy. DSST also uses the funds to provide resources to local hospitals for families with a new diagnosis, materials for a lending library, and continued research.

“The generosity of our community for the past 12 years is incredible,” said Taylor. “We’ve come together to celebrate the many abilities and accomplishments of people with Down Syndrome.”

The Buddy Walk kicks off Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October. The walk in Washtenaw County is just one of over 250 events planned in cities across the country this fall. Developed by the National Down Syndrome Society, the Buddy Walk promotes acceptance and inclusion of all people with Down Syndrome.

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Nikki Bobo with her daughters Ashley and Kayley pose for a picture with Wil Taylor while raising funds for the Down Syndrome Support Team. The Bobo family volunteered their time to help set-up for the event. Photo courtesy of Lynnelle A. Tans

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The Harvey family, Leah, Lila, Max, Steve, and Rebecca, along with Wil Taylor were among 850 walkers who participated in the 2016 Buddy Walk. Photo courtesy of Lynnelle A. Tans.

 

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Kayley Bobo, Ashley Bobo, Lila Harvey, Wil Taylor, and Ivy Herron join hands as they walk to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October. Photo courtesy of Lynnelle A. Tans.

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Wil Taylor receives a piggy-back ride from Ivy Herron during the one-mile Buddy Walk at Gallup Park on September 25, 2016. Photo courtesy of Lynnelle A. Tans.

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Ashley Bobo and Lila Harvey show off their painted faces to promote Down Syndrome Awareness Month which is celebrated in October. Photo courtesy of Lynnelle A. Tans.

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Theresa Herron gives Wil Taylor a lift as they participate in the Buddy Walk to promote acceptance and inclusion of persons with Down Syndrome. Photo courtesy of Lynnelle A. Tans.

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Friends for life, Olivia Franklin, Ivy Herron, Wil Taylor, and Amelia Herron enjoy the walk and activities at the Buddy Walk. Photo courtesy of Lynnelle A. Tans.

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Kayley Bobo, Leah Helquist, and Thomas Helquist are among 315,000 people who will participate in over 250 Buddy Walks throughout the United States this fall. Photo courtesy of Lynnelle A. Tans.

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Wil Taylor and Ashley Bobo share smiles at the Buddy Walk. The now fourth graders have been friends and classmates since kindergarten. Photo courtesy of Lynnelle A. Tans.

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