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Buddy Walk & Family Festival

Important Links and Documents

Parking for Buddy Walk
 Driving Directions to Buddy Walk
Buddy Walk Route Map

'Signing Time!' Returns in 2013


We are thrilled to welcome back to our Buddy Walk stage in 2013 Rachel Coleman of "Signing Time!", the television program that teaches children basic American Sign Language in a fun, engaging way. 


Anyone who saw her in past years remembers her unbelievable stage presence and ability to connect and interact with members of our audience while teaching sign language. Coleman has been nominated for an Emmy in the "Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series" category.  She is not only the face of the program; she also produces and directs the series.



In 2013, building on the theme of this year's Annual Conference, we have dubbed our 17th Annual Buddy Walk & Family Festival the "Walk for Real Lives." Like our Real Lives Conference, the name stems from the "Real Lives Bill," the critical piece of state legislation that promises to give people with Down syndrome and other disabilities more control over the their funds and their lives. 



Same Lead Sponsor, Better Name, More Lunch Options

This year, we are happy to welcome back our lead sponsor, Verizon. But they are no longer sponsoring our Buddy Walk & Family Picnic.... It's now the Buddy Walk & Festival! Why? We felt that our previous name didn't quite describe the "festival" atmosphere and the variety of entertainment offerings - live performances, face-painting, music-making, climbing trucks, etc. - that our Buddy Walk now boasts. That is why it is now more accurately called the Buddy Walk & Family Festival. 


Second, in response to demands for more variety in the food offerings, we are launching a new lunch program. Rather than include lunch in the cost of registration, we are giving you more control over your lunch options. You can reserve a bagged lunch when you register for an additional cost, or you can buy food from private vendors who will be on site throughout the event. 


The MDSC Buddy Walk Program is New England's largest public awareness platform to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. The Buddy Walk & Family Festival, our signature walk, takes place during National Down Syndrome Awareness Month and draws in 4,000 people to celebrate our community and support the important work of the MDSC.


We ask that all walkers, ages 13 and up, strive to reach the $150 fundraising minimum by October 31st. Your fundraising efforts are critical to our mission and directly impact programs and services that provide hope to new and expectant parents, training to medical professionals and students, best practices to educators, opportunities for teens and adults, and a strong voice on Capitol Hill. 


Celebrating National Down Syndrome Awareness Month  

Every October since 1996, the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress has been hosting its Buddy Walk & Family Festival to celebrate the Down syndrome community and promote acceptance and inclusion. Held annually during National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, our signature walk continues to be the MDSC's largest public awareness and fundraising event. 

Thousands of people pledge their support and join together as they walk around beautiful Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield. The day includes pre-walk activities, opening ceremony, a three-mile walk, family festival, and post-walk entertainment. Every walker is encouraged to raise a minimum of $150 before the day of the walk. 

As the state's leading provider of information, networking opportunities, and advocacy for and about Down syndrome, your support will allow the MDSC to continue supporting, enhancing and expanding opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome. 

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