WASHINGTON, UT — The Dixie Buddy Walk® will take place Saturday (October 28)
at Sullivan Virgin River Soccer Park. Over 200 people are expected to attend. It is
one of over 250 Walks across the United States this fall to raise awareness and
funds for programs that benefit people with Down syndrome and their families.
“Buddy Walks® are fantastic events where smiles are shared, hugs are free, games
are played and — most importantly — footsteps are heard as we all walk together
to support people with cognitive delays,” said Steven Hansen, CEO, Utah Down Syn-
The local festivities, part of the national Buddy Walk® Program, welcomes partici-
pants of all ages and abilities. The goals of the program are to promote acceptance
and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and to positively influence policy and
practice. Last year alone, Buddy Walk® events raised nearly $13 million to benefit
national advocacy initiatives as well as local programs and services.
According to Stacy Heaps, local Walk organizer and mother of a daughter with Ds,
the Dixie Buddy Walk® will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of UDSF. It will fea-
ture a walk for people of all abilities, carnival games, face painting, opportunity
drawings, balloon animals, a piñata, photo booth, birthday present giveaways, and
more. Registration fees include lunch and a t-shirt.
Everyone is invited. Sign up at the non-profit’s website (www.udsf.org) or at the
park at 9:00 am Saturday. Adults are $15, children under 18 pay only $10. Present-
ing sponsors are Mass Mutual’s SpecialCare Unit and Calvin Curtis, Attorney-at-Law.
Local sponsors are Horrocks Engineers, Jimmy John’s and Jones Paint and Glass.
UDSF is Utah’s largest support provider for the Down syndrome population. Its mis-
sion is to “promote awareness of, and appreciation for, the unique talents and abili-
ties of individuals with Down syndrome.” It works to help them achieve their great-
est educational and occupational potential.
“When parents and families gain knowledge and share common experiences at
UDSF-sponsored activities and educational offerings, they are empowered to be-
come better advocates for their children, thus providing them an opportunity for a
bright future,” added Hansen.
The UDSF Southern Utah Community Group was organized in 2015. To learn more,
or to donate to the organization, visit www.udsf.org.