Walking and rolling on Buddy Walk

Buddy Walk marks Down Syndrome Awareness Week in Cadboro Bay

Photos submitted Walking and rolling About 100 people on 17 teams turned out for Greater Victoria Down Syndrome Society’s 2014 Buddy Walk in Cadboro Bay on Saturday

More than 100 people participated in the first Buddy Walk to be held by the Greater Victoria Down Syndrome Society in several years.

The two-kilometre long Buddy Walk kicked off National Down Syndrome Week, Nov. 1 to 7 across Canada.

It started at Cadboro Bay United Church, which donated space for the event, and walked down Arbutus Road to Telegraph Road, then followed Maynard and Scolton roads back to Arbutus.

The walk was a success, with sunny weather and about $4,000 in money raised for the GVDSS, said spokesperson Salome Crowley.

“It was the first (Buddy Walk) in a few years so we weren’t sure what to expect, but with more than 100 people, and some decent weather, it worked out well for us,” Crowley said.

Eighty per cent of the money raised goes to the GVDSS, helping support programs such as its music therapy sessions at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Twenty per cent goes to the Canadian Down Syndrome Society.

Saturday’s gathering at the Cadboro Bay United Church started with a potluck lunch and activities for kids at noon. Thrifty Foods donated a cake.

The annual Buddy Walk began in the U.S.A. in 1995.

Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement, where there is extra genetic material with the 21st chromosome. Approximately one in 800 people are born with Down syndrome in Canada.

The GVDSS is accepting 2014 Buddy Walk donations until Nov. 30.

See gvdss.org for more.

reporter@saanichnews.com