The Ohio Valley Down Syndrome Support Group is gearing up for its 10th-annual Buddy Walk, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Jim Wood Park in Steubenville's West End.
"We are planning a wonderful event in honor of our 10th year," said Monica Vok, the group's president. "There will be so much for the kids to enjoy," she said, noting the festivities will include Kurt James with inflatables; a disc jockey; food and snacks; a 50/50 drawing; drawing prizes; a Chinese auction; and door prizes.
Registration begins at 11 a.m. with the walking itself beginning at 2 p.m. Registration is $5. Medals will be distributed following the walk.
"Our local Down Syndrome Support Group has undergone many changes this past year. With our newly appointed officers and trustees, we have accomplished so much in such little time. Our focus is on our kids and families and truly being a support group for everyone who wants to be involved. So much time and effort has been put into planning of this year's Buddy walk and we are anticipating a wonderful turnout," Vok said.
The OVDSSG was organized 10 years ago "to create inclusion and acceptance of children and adults with DS," Vok said.
"We want the community to know that our children are just like any other child. They will do the same things but at a slower pace. They are able to be educated and become a productive member of society," she said.
Membership in the group is open to anyone, not just for those who have a Down syndrome member in the family.
The group also is planning a Halloween party and will have a presence in Steubenville's Christmas parade.
For questions on the Buddy Walk or the group itself, contact Vok at (740) 632-5706 or check out the group's Facebook page.