‘An event for everyone’: big turnout expected for Buddy Walk this weekend

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Nearly 2,500 people have registered for the Buddy Walk this weekend.


The Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville says the event is not only for families who have a loved one with Down Syndrome, but for everyone.

“This is our day to say, ‘We see (you), we got your back,’” says Jennifer Jones.

Jones is a mother of four with a vibrant 4-year-old named Hudson. He was diagnosed with Down Syndrome during Jones’ pregnancy.

She says the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville helped her understand her son’s condition as well as connect her with other families through the their Buddy Walk.

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“He was just a few months old for our first Buddy Walk. When we got out there, we were blown away. There were thousands of people out there,” explains Jones.

This Saturday, DSAJ is expecting thousands to come out for the Buddy Walk.

Every year for the past 20 years, the event is held to raise awareness, as well as to meet funding goals for the organization. The funds are collected by different participating teams.

“We have our own team ... called ‘Huddie’s Buddies’. We invite everybody to come out. People we know from social media come and walk with us,” she says.

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Our very own Elizabeth Campbell has a team for her daughter Hazel, called “Hazel’s Homies.”

“The city of Jacksonville gets to come out celebrate people living with Down syndrome,” says Jones.

DSAJ is a local nonprofit that provides services and activities for families who have a loved one of any age living with Down Syndrome.

The Buddy walk is Saturday, Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. at the Sea Walk Pavilion.

If you would like to register for the event, click here.