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Color run raises $4K for Buddy Walk

A myriad of colors filled the air near L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital Saturday morning as dozens of locals ran with purpose for the sixth annual Color Me for Down Syndrome Wellness Challenge.

The event saw youngsters and adults alike tackling a 5K run to raise awareness for Down Syndrome.

Linda Hummel, the event’s organizer for the hospital, said that this year’s event stacked up favorably to those in past years.

“I think we’ve done really great.  Saturday was a huge success,” Hummel said.

“We will have made a little over $4,000 to send to the Buddy Walk Foundation for Down Syndrome.”

The Buddy Walk was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October, and also to promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.

Since its inception, the Buddy Walk has grown to become the most widely recognized public awareness for Down Syndrome in the world.

This year’s Buddy Walk, held at Faulkner University on Oct. 7, aims to include participants from all of the surrounding counties, including Butler County.

In addition to Montgomery’s event, there will also be Buddy Walks held in Huntsville and Mobile.

The money raised during Saturday’s event in Greenville will help sponsor Montgomery’s Buddy Walk next month.

“The money that we make is given to them, and they send a portion of that to the Down Syndrome Foundation, and a portion of what they make there stays in the area,” Hummel said.

“And any time there’s a child born with Down syndrome, they take a basket of goodies to the families with some books and information that they will need to take home with them.”

Hummel said that though the color run was a great excuse for fitness and fun on a community level, she was also proud to be a part of an event that makes a tangible difference in the lives of others alongside a laundry list of local volunteers.

“To know that I’m helping someone else, I get much more out of giving than I do receiving,” she said. “As long as I know I’m helping other families, it’s great. We have our Healthy Woman council, and all of the girls on the council volunteer their time, help me get sponsors and help me get everything organized on the day of registration. David Norrell was our MC this year, and he did great.  I appreciated his help.

“I just appreciate so much everybody who participates, whether they’re running, volunteering or whatever they’re doing to help.”

John Strycker led the 5K pack with a time of 20:37.

Caleb Gardner came in second with a time of 24:36, followed by Gary Newton’s time of 26:55.