The Down Syndrome Coalition for El Paso’s (DSCEP) 9th Annual Buddy Walk and 5k Fun Run hosted at the Valle Verde campus was one of over 175 taking place throughout the country on Oct. 6 for Down syndrome awareness month.
The DSCEP is committed to providing education, advocacy, and support and is a supporting organization of the El Paso Community Foundation.
Online donations for the Down Syndrome Coalition for El Paso will be open now through Oct. 12.
The event’s purpose is to raise awareness, support, and money in the El Paso community for people with Down syndrome.
Their goal was to raise $36,000 which will also benefit the EPCC’s Scholarships for Students with Disabilities.
Started nine years ago by a former EPCC employee who has a daughter with Down syndrome, the event has gained momentum and success in El Paso.
Over the years, their numbers have increased from about 200 to over one thousand.
Organizers, sponsors, and volunteers only hope and strive to ensure those numbers are only the beginning.
“The Buddy Walk is still a growing event here in El Paso,” said president of the Down Syndrome Coalition for El Paso and co-chair of the Buddy Walk event, Felipe Martinez.
“Nationally, these walks are hundreds of times larger. Our goal is to catch up with the rest of the country to attract celebrities and continue to grow the walk.”
In addition to the walk, the event added the 5k Fun Run which had over 200 runners. The event had music and El Paso’s very own, Chico the Chihuahua.
Amidst all the food and fun, it is crucial to remember who the event is for and why it is important for the public to show up and show their support.
“The most important thing is for the community to come together and show our Buddies that we truly love and care for them,” said Martinez.
“On this one day, they are treated extra special and allows the community to learn how they are more alike than different. Their hugs and smiles will make your day brighter.”
Although the event was a success there is much one can do to raise awareness for the month of awareness and the rest of the year.
A calendar of events is available on www.dscep.org. And contributions can still be made. They invite people to donate their time and money. There is no time constraint on showing support for the people in our community.