Boca Raton, Fla. -
More than 100 Florida Atlantic University Athletics’ student-athletes, coaches and staff dedicated their time and support at the 22nd Annual Buddy Walk® for the Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization on Sunday, Oct. 16 at John Prince Park in Lake Worth, Florida.
Student-athletes from men’s and women’s basketball, beach volleyball, men’s and women’s tennis, baseball, men’s and women’s cross country and women’s track set out on the One-Mile Advocacy walk to spread the message of community awareness and honor all individuals who have Down syndrome. Those who did not walk gave out water, sold raffle tickets, served as event judges and even dressed up in costumes to entertain participants.
"Community service is one of the cornerstones of FAU Athletics' mission, and a desire to give back is something we try to instill in our student-athletes,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Pat Chun. “Seeing our student-athletes and staff come together for a cause like this makes me truly proud. We were grateful to be a part of promoting awareness, acceptance and inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome and look forward to making this event an annual tradition."
Thanks to the efforts of FAU Athletics and the nearly 2,000 other attendees, the 2016 Buddy Walk® raised more than $150,000 for local programs.
The Buddy Walk was established by the National Down Syndrome Society in 1995 to promote awareness, acceptance and inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome and to celebrate October as National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. The Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization Buddy Walk in Palm Beach County was one of the first of 17 walk locations across the United States in 1995.
For more information about how you can get involved, please visit http://goldcoastdownsyndrome.org/.