2013-09-14 / News

Buddy Walk benefits Down Syndrome children, parents

By Scott Rawdon

MILLERSPORT – Down Syndrome is not only a challenge for those afflicted, but for their parents as well, said Millersport resident Mitchell Severance, whose cousin, Evan Bruckelmeyer, has Down Syndrome.

Severance is rallying people to participate in the 12th Annual Columbus Buddy Walk to benefit those with Down Syndrome and their parents. Participants will be asked to join a team, and Severance urges people to join the Evan Almighty team, at Evan’s request.

“It’s really more the parents,” said Severance. “It helps them raise a child with Down Syndrome.” He said a few years ago, he got to know a family at his church who had a child with Down Syndrome, and then with his cousin being diagnosed, Severance decided to champion the cause.

The Buddy Walk takes place at Columbus Crew Stadium Sunday, Sept. 22. The parking lot opens 7 a.m. and registration begins 9 a.m. The actual one-mile walk begins 10 a.m.

Severance said the Columbus Buddy Walk’s overall goal is to raise $300,000 toward Down Syndrome research, and as of Sept. 3, it’s raised $188,000. The Evan Almighty team’s goal is to raise $5,000 by the start of the event. In doing so the team will receive a reserved tailgate spot with two tables, a commemorative poster featuring the team, and a family fun kit.

Participants can register for the event online at www.columbusbuddywalk.org. Select ‘Register Today.’ Registration is $21 per person and participants will receive a Buddy Walk T-Shirt prior to the event. Participants may also make an additional donation. After inputting information on the web site, participants will be asked to join a team. “Be sure to join our team when registering,” said Severance. Those unable to register online may contact Severance at (740) 503-0705 or Millersport Mayor Dean Severance at (740) 808-0168 or (740) 467-2876.

Those unable to participate in the Buddy Walk may also give a donation online. Simply go to www.columbusbuddywalk.org, select ‘Donate,’ and fill out the information provided. Be sure to select Evan Almighty when donating. Donors may also pay by check made payable to DSACO (Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio.) Please send all checks to Dean or Mitchell Severance, and they will send them by mail to the Down Syndrome Association.

Mitchell’s address is 116 Tremont, Baltimore Ohio 43105 and Dean’s address P.O. Box 706 Millersport Ohio 43046. Please include Email Address, Mailing Address and Phone # with the check. Minimum Donation is $10.

According to the Columbus Buddy Walk web site, funds raised through will provide critically needed family support and services, such as:

• $100 will fund two New Parent Packets for expectant or new parents who have a baby diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

• $200 will fund a full recreational scholarship for a person with Down Syndrome.

• $500 will fund a workshop for parents on a topic such as IEPs or potty training.

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