“Wil’s Team Will” helps raise $40,000 for the Down Syndrome Support Team
submitted by Lynnelle Tans
“Wil’s Team Will” was in full force on Sunday, October 1 to kick off Down Syndrome Awareness Month at the 13th Annual Buddy Walk. The event, organized by the Down Syndrome Support Team, drew more than 700 walkers to Gallup Park in Ann Arbor, raising more than $40,000.
Wil Taylor, a Manchester resident born with Down syndrome, participated in the event along with many family and friends. 2017 marks the 11th year Taylor has participated in the event. He attended his first Buddy Walk at just seven months of age. According to Taylor, his favorite thing about Buddy Walk is, “I love my friends. My friends are great.”
Participants enjoyed the festivities, including a silent auction, raffle, refreshments, live music, face painting, and the 1-mile walk. The money raised will help support local programs and services for individuals with Down syndrome. A few of the programs include: enrichment classes, speech-language therapy, music therapy, resource packets for new families, and continued research.
Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of the 21st chromosome. Approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome, making it the most common chromosomal condition.