The 8th Annual Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome Set for October 20, 2012 at the Campus of George Mason University-Fairfax, VA - Rain or Shine

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This year’s Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia (DSANV) Buddy Walk for Down syndrome will be held at the University Campus of George Mason in Fairfax, Virginia on October 20, 2012, rain or shine.October is National Down Syndrome Awareness month and the Buddy Walk annually coincides with the national spotlight and represents an opportunity for the community to come together in support and participation in a worthy cause.

Benefit for Down syndrome
At Buddy Walk, every step we take and every dollar we raise helps us to provide emotional, educational, and social support to people with Down syndrome, their families, and the professionals who serve them.

This year’s Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia (DSANV) Buddy Walk for Down syndrome will be held at the University Campus of George Mason in Fairfax, Virginia on October 20, 2012, rain or shine. On-site registration for the 8th annual event will take place starting at 8:00am on the day of the walk though organizers are encouraging early registration for participants and sponsorships to make sure there are enough t-shirts to go around. Walkers must be registered by September 23, 2012 to be guaranteed a t-shirt. Donations and sponsorships will go to benefit the long standing local charity supporting families affected by Down syndrome.

This year is the 8th annual event and the biggest fundraising event for DSANV. Last year’s event had over 1500 participants and rose over $200,000; this year’s expected attendance is over 2000. October is National Down Syndrome Awareness month and the Buddy Walk annually coincides with the national spotlight and represents an opportunity for the community to come together in support and participation in a worthy cause. The goal of the DSANV is to enrich the lives of those with Down syndrome and to assist families through support and community participation leading to greater life fulfillment.

“Buddy Walk is DSANV’s flagship event — not only is it our most important fundraiser, it also brings our community together for a day of fun, inspiration, and celebration,” said Brian Ray, President of DSANV. “At Buddy Walk, every step we take and every dollar we raise helps us to provide emotional, educational, and social support to people with Down syndrome, their families, and the professionals who serve them.”

Ethan’s Army, one Family's Story

Ethan’s life has been anything but easy. Born with Down syndrome and then at 11 months of age Ethan was diagnosed with infantile spasms which are a form of debilitating seizures. Ethan’s parents were scared based on news from the doctors and not sure what to expect but Ethan never gave up, he was always fighting and was always smiling.

Today Ethan is 4 ½ and seizure free; he has far exceeded his doctors expectations, he is walking and talking, playing with his brother and doing so many of the things young boys do at that age. The Mills family and friends Buddy Walk team has been walking in the annual event for the last few years in support of advocacy for Down syndrome. The team name for the Mill’s is “Ethan’s Army” in honor of both Ethan and his father who is currently deployed in Afghanistan. Ethan and his father have served as an inspiration to the family and the community.

This year Custom Earth Promos has donated reusable tote bags to Buddy Walk and Ethan’s Army in support of their worthy cause. The Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia (DSANV) will be accepting online donations through December 31, 2012.

If you would like to sponsor “Ethan’s Army” for Buddy Walk 2012 please visit their official event webpage: http://buddywalk.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=1027196&lis=1&kntae1027196=9DD9B29A4DA5470F8F8C79BF86A12174&supId=225580199&emaillogid=5950455081

For registration and more information regarding donation options please visit the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia website: http://dsanv.org/ and look for the Buddy Walk icon and link.

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Jennifer Greiner

Ron Burdine
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