Walk raises funds for Down Syndrome

Published 2:35 pm Friday, September 23, 2011

Paige Keeter will be coordinating the Buddy Walk this year as well as walking it with her 8-year-old son, CJ, who has Down Syndrome.

On Oct. 15, people will have an opportunity to advocate and donate for children with Down Syndrome.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Montgomery River Walk Stadium will be hosting Buddy Walk.

“October is Down Syndrome month, and across the nation, cities in all states normally will do a Buddy Walk,” Buddy Walk coordinator Paige Keeter said. “It is a normally a mile walk, and it’s a walk to raise money for Down Syndrome.”

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The gates will be open at 10 a.m. and the actual walk will begin at 11:30 a.m. There will be a lunch, awards and door prizes that follow the walk.

“It is open to the public,” Keeter said. “Anyone that would like to come can come.”

Keeter, who has a son with Down Syndrome, said she will be at the stadium all day coordinating but will walk the mile with her son.

“When you’ve got children with disabilities and special needs, most people are not aware of it unless it affects you,” Keeter said. “It’s a way to advocate for our special needs children. It’s a big place in my heart to get the world out there to understand our children, and it also gives us a time to get together and help raise money throughout the state.”

Stephanie and David Maddox will be attending the Buddy Walk for their first time with the about to be one-year-old daughter, Millie Grace Maddox.

“Our baby was born on Sept. 30, which was almost a year ago, and she was born with Down Syndrome,” Stephanie said. “It’s been a year of some trials and tribulations of her health and coming to grip with David and I being new parents of a special needs child. This walk means supporting her and having all of our friends and family supporting her just by donations or just going to the walk. She is a rock star, and this is her day.”

Stephanie said there are so many people out there that have never had any kind of relationship or been around a child with Down Syndrome.

“They are God’s special angels, and people need to understand why it’s important to support these children,” Stephanie said. “Because they have a disability so to speak, doesn’t mean they can’t function in society. If you ever meet a child with Down Syndrome, they will touch your heart and be a ray of sunshine and that’s what Millie is.”

There is a $10 registration fee to pay at anytime between now and the walk. A registration form needs to be filled out or one can go online at biscuitsbaseball.com to register or make a donation.

“Our children our special in their own ways and anyone who is a parent who knows that,” Keeter said. “When it comes to a child with Down Syndrome, they have their own needs and problems, and one thing that we’re able to do is make it known and help those children. When this affects families, sometimes they just need to know where to turn, and we’re giving them encouragement and that knowledge.”

For more information, contact Keeter at 334-239-6452 or email mgmbuddywalk@aol.com.