Longview hosts Downs Syndrome charity walk - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Longview hosts Downs Syndrome charity walk

Walking to bring awareness and hope to special children as hundreds join in the 7th annual Buddy Walk of East Texas in Longview.  East Texans came to Longview's Teague Park, Saturday to support the effort to help Downs Syndrome children live normal lives.

"As parents of children with Downs Syndrome, we want our children to be included, and that's the purpose of this buddy walk is inclusion, acceptance, and we want people to know they are like any other child," said event organizer and mother of Downs Syndrome daughter, Lisa Mack.  Dozens of teams were sponsored by businesses.  This years walk ambassador is Travis Owens, 15 who has Downs Syndrome, and his parents say they are grateful for events like these.

"You know the community needs to embrace these kids and be part of their lives too," said Travis' mother Angie Hendricks.  "They bring such joy to peoples lives, and I think that's something that everyone needs to know, and needs to understand and needs to be a part of.

"I just love being out here and watching them and being happy," said former event ambassador Rachael Connors.  "That's what I enjoy."  Many are encouraged that a Vice Presidential Candidate, Sara Palin, is not only a parent of a Downs Syndrome child, but also a supporter of Downs Syndrome education.

"I've heard Governor Palin say that she will be an advocate for kids with special needs in the White House, and I think that makes for an interesting race, what a lot of people don't realize is our disabled community is our greatest minority in the United States," said Mack.  More than 500 people joined in the Buddy Walk around Longview.  Last years walk raised $32,000 for Downs Syndrome research and assistance.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com


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