The Waksmunski family of Mahoning Township, including 3-year-old son Jesse and 6-month-old twins Shane and Wyatt, who both have Down syndrome, will join hundreds of thousands of individuals across the country in the annual National Down syndrome Society Buddy Walk to raise awareness of Down syndrome and raise money to support local programs and services and national education, research and advocacy efforts.
Everyone is welcome to join in the Buddy Walk, and if they wish, to join Shane and Wyatt's Team.
The Lehigh Valley Buddy Walk will run from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25 at Valley Preferred Cycling Center/Rodale Fitness Park at 1151 Mosser Road in Breinigsville. (An earlier story incorrectly listed the times as 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) The actual walk will take place at 2 p.m. There will be refreshments, music, vendors, advocacy groups and activities all day.
Those who can't attend, but would like to donate online, can go to "Shane and Wyatt's Journey With Down syndrome" on Facebook, by becoming a member of the page and then clicking on "Events," and then following the directions there; or send a check to Eric Waksmunski, P.O. Box 214, Lehighton, PA 18235. Make the check out to Eastern PA Down syndrome Center.
To register to walk or to donate online, log on to: https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=427266&supId..., and follow the directions to join Shane and Wyatt's Team; or contact Waksmunski directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also download a donation form by logging onto the TIMES NEWS website, and on the left side of the page, click on the link entitled, "DOWN SYNDROME: A Family's Journey," then look on the right side of that page for the "Buddy Walk" link.
The Waksmunskis have set a fundraising goal of $5,000 for the Buddy Walk, and have already raised about $1,300.
The Buddy Walk was established by the National Down Syndrome Society in 1995 to celebrate Down syndrome Awareness Month in October. Walks occur from September through November, and have grown to over 280 Buddy Walks this year in the United States and around the world. Over 2,500,000 people have participated since its inception. Last year, over $10 million was raised at the national level.
For more information on the National Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk, ways to get involved and more, visit www.buddywalk.org.