About the DSNO Buddy Walk®
After two years of virtual events, we were excited to welcome our community back in person to the DSNO Buddy Walk® at Millennium Plaza Park in Lake Oswego on September 25th, 2022! Buddy Walk® is the premier advocacy event for Down syndrome in the U.S. and the most widely recognized public awareness program for the Down syndrome community globally, and the DSNO Buddy Walk® is DSNO’s primary and biggest fundraising effort of the year. Over 95% of funds raised stay in our local community.
For nearly 20 years, 501(c)(3) nonprofit Down Syndrome Network Oregon (DSNO) has hosted its annual Buddy Walk® event and fundraiser at Millennium Plaza Park on a Sunday in late September. The morning-to-afternoon event typically draws several hundred to nearly a thousand people in a celebration and gathering with friends, family, neighbors, classmates, volunteers and supporters around several dozen Buddy Teams. The DSNO Buddy Walk® is a high-energy, fun-filled gathering appropriate for all ages, featuring activities and vendors, a brief program, a short, accessible group walk, lunch, time for gathering and socializing, music and dance performances, and a DS community resource fair. Each year, we gather to welcome and connect new families into our local Down syndrome community, and this event is a great way to plug in, relax, meet others and show your support for your loved ones and their friends and be part of a positive, loving, inclusive community that welcomes all.
Funds raised at the DSNO Buddy Walk® support growing our infrastructure benefitting our local (Portland-area, SW Washington, and Willamette Valley) Down syndrome community to put on dozens of local DSNO programs year-round for hundreds of families, including the following: DSNOFit exercise class, Oaks Park Summer Family Gathering, Summer Sports Camp, Hip-Hop Dance Camp, Mom’s Night Out, Mom’s Coffee, Mom’s Beach Retreat, Dad’s Gatherings, Virtual Cooking Class, Boo Bash, Jingle Ball, and many more.
To donate to the 2022 DSNO Buddy Walk®, please visit our online donation form.
The majority of fundraising for the DSNO Buddy Walk® is done prior to the event through Buddy Team fundraising, sponsorships, and other registrations/donations. We also provide opportunities to donate at the event, and we encourage everyone who is planning to make individual donations to donate through a Buddy Team prior to September 17, 2022 so that Buddy Teams can get credit to meet fundraising milestones and earn prizes.
9:00am – 10:30am
- Registration Open
- Activities + Vendors
- Bizzy the Clown
- Blue Lotus Henna Tattoos
- Donut Days Mini Donuts
- Lake Oswego Fire Truck
- Mystique Fancy Faces Face Painting
- Stumptown Photobooth
- Community Partner Resource Tables
10:30am – Opening Festivities and Walk
- Welcome and Kick-off
- Flag Ceremony
- National Anthem
- Special Performances
- Lake Oswego High School Dance Team
- PDX Buddies
- Tigard High School Cheer Team
- Tualatin High School Dance Team
- Special Guest and Presentation
- Introduction of Buddy Teams
- Group Picture/Video
- Walk Begins
- Lunch (Burgers, Hot Dogs, Salad) – Thank you Lake Oswego Lions Club!
12:00pm – 3:00pm
- Live Music
- Activities + Vendors (continued)
- Community Partner Resource Tables (continued)
- Take a Trolley Ride – Willamette Shore Trolley | City of Lake Oswego
We chartered the Willamette Shore Trolley to run at 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30 pm. We reserved 2 tickets for each Buddy Team, and remaining tickets were available for $10 per person, 4 years and older. It’s a 5.5 mile, 40 minute ride that departs from and returns to the depot across the street from the park.
What is a Buddy Team?
A Buddy Team is a group of people that come together to support and cheer an individual experiencing Down syndrome, or a group of individuals/organization that support all our Buddies. Buddy Teams set up a team website, use outreach and social media to encourage friends and peers to join the event and/or make a donation to DSNO on the team’s behalf, and then celebrate together at the event. Buddy Teams are included on our t-shirt (if created by September 5th, 2022) and are shown on our Buddy Teams Page. Buddy Teams are eligible to receive prizes and recognition for participation and fundraising milestones and new this year, Buddies and immediate family were invited to participate in a Buddy Team Tailgate Party on September 18, 2022 for prize presentations and celebration.
Organizations and businesses who would like to connect with our local Down syndrome community were invited to host a resource table at the event ($75 for non-profit, $150 for businesses). Know of an organization you think would benefit by hosting a resource table at next year’s DSNO Buddy Walk®, or that our community would benefit by having a presence? Please refer them to us and encourage them to register here.
Businesses and individuals were invited to sponsor the 2022 DSNO Buddy Walk® at various levels, starting at $250. Know of a business or individual who you think would make a great sponsor next year? Please send us their name and a contact, and we will reach out to them with an invitation, or send this webpage and have them reach out to us. Thank you! For more information, learn more here or contact our volunteer sponsorship representatives at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch the DSNO Virtual Buddy Walk® 2021 Replay!
“I love the sense of community that all the DSNO events create, and the DSNO Buddy Walk® is my favorite and so much fun! It’s like a family reunion and such a great opportunity to visit and celebrate with others.” – DSNO Member