GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of the Gulf Coast Down Syndrome Society’s Buddy Walk, but this year there was a twist.
Instead of a walk, the organization hosted a car parade at the Gulfport Sportsplex, and more than a hundred cars participated.
The Buddy Walk was created to help celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month, promote acceptance and inclusion of people with down syndrome.
“We think that it’s important to show all the people on the Gulf Coast that there’s a large support system for people with down syndrome," said Jenny Bristow, with St. Martin High School. "That we are showing support and caring for them.”
“It’s all about inclusion too for our families, for our loved ones, it’s all about making sure that our kids and our adult kids are part of the community," said Buddy Walk Chairman Linda Stewart. "They are just like us. They just have an extra chromosome. That’s all they have.”
The buddy walk is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and the money raised will go to fund scholarships and social activities.