Over 150 walkers came out for Upstate Cerebral Palsy’s 25th Annual Buddy Walk. This year’s event was held at the Parkway Rec Center in Utica and was presented by Adirondack Bank. Opening ceremonies featured 10-year-old pianist Ben Kidwell performing the Star-Spangled Banner with opening remark from Upstate Cerebral Palsy Chief Program Officer, Kathy Klosner, followed by Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon. The City of Utica Police department assisted leading the walkers around the walking route for the event.
Several teams came out to support and raises awareness and funds for programs that benefit people with Down syndrome and their families. This annual event also offered an opportunity to network and build connections among those whose lives have been touched and enriched by knowing someone with Down syndrome.
“I remember being part of the first Buddy Walk 25 years ago and it is exciting to see just how much it has grown throughout the years.,” explained Upstate Cerebral Palsy Chief Program Officer, Kathy Klosner. “Participating in the Buddy Walk is a great way to raise awareness of the valuable contributions individuals with Down syndrome make to our society and community.”
The Buddy Walk included music, tomato pie, snacks and Big Papi’s Coquito Iceys, a community art squeegee canvas that was raffled off at the end of the event courtesy of the Pieces of HeART staff, face painting, corn hole and other activities for children with the help of Utica University men’s ice hockey team. The official NDSS Buddy Walk coffee was sold on site which is locally roasted by Generous Roasting of Rome, NY.