The message at Saturday's 'The Ups of Downs Buddy Walk' in Rapid City was clear; people with Down syndrome are just like everyone else.
Mona Drolc says the buddy walk is a way to raise awareness, inclusion, and acceptance of those with Down syndrome. But it was so much more than just a walk.
A carnival–themed party took place in the Rushmore Civic Center, complete with burgers, cotton candy, bouncy houses, and a train ride. Drolc says hundreds of walkers were signed up, and at 11:30, tons of blue shirts swarmed Memorial Park.
The entire community was invited to attend. "Individuals can come and see what individuals with Down syndrome are all about and they are just like you and I," said Drolc. "And so it's promoting the awareness of what people with Down syndrome are all about."
Money collected from the registration fee will go to awareness events, educational seminars, social activities, and to other organizations that help kids with special needs.