October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, as President Trump recognized in a beautiful statement earlier this month, in which he renewed “our Nation’s strong commitment to promoting the health, well-being, and inherent dignity of all children and adults with Down syndrome.” This genetic condition affects more than 250,000 Americans, but as President Trump correctly acknowledged, these individuals “embody the great spirit of our Nation. They inspire joy, kindness, and wonder in our families, our workplaces, and our communities.” As Jack Fowler, who may try to hide his tenderness (though is full of it), likes to say, “God has almond shaped eyes.”
In the last several years, my family and I have been moved to do what we can to give a hand to those individuals and families affected by Down syndrome and similar intellectual disabilities. Every year, for the last half dozen, I have biked and walked to raise money for Best Buddies, a terrific charity that provides fellowship, leadership training, and job opportunities for individuals affected by serious intellectual disabilities, including Down syndrome and autism.
This year, I’m privileged to serve as chairman of the Capital Region Best Buddies Friendship Walk, a walk to raise funds for Best Buddies school-aged and adult programs. The Walk is this Saturday morning on the Capital Mall. We have over 1,200 students and adults walking to raise money and raise awareness. There’s still room for more. You can sign up to walk here. It’s free to do so, but you get a free T-shirt if you raise or donate $50 or more. If you can’t walk but want to support our mission, you can donate in support of my fundraising efforts here. We’re close to our goal of $370,000, but need a little help in the final days before Saturday’s walk.
If you signed up because of this posting, please look for me at the Walk! And if you want to support Best Buddies, there are similar walks and events throughout the country.