About DSNO Buddy Walk®
We gathered together for the DSNO Buddy Walk® at Millennium Plaza Park in Lake Oswego on September 24th, 2023! 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 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 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 Down syndrome community (Portland-area, SW Washington, and Willamette Valley) to put on dozens of local DSNO programs year-round for hundreds of families, including: DSNOFit exercise class, Family Summer Kick-off Event, Sports Camp, Hip-Hop Dance Camp, Mom’s Night Out, Mom’s Coffee, Mom’s Beach Retreat, Dad’s Gatherings, Boo Bash, Jingle Ball, and many more.
There’s still time if you want to donate to the 2023 DSNO Buddy Walk® by visiting our online registration/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 to help them meet fundraising milestones and earn prizes.
9:00am – 10:30am
- Registration Open
- Activities + Vendors
- Community Partner Resource Tables
10:30am – Opening Festivities and Walk
- Welcome and Kick-off with emcee Bonnie Silkman of Good Day Oregon
- Special Performances
- Keynote speaker Karen Gaffney
- Introduction of Buddy Teams
- Group Picture/Video
- Walk Begins
- Lunch (Burgers, Hot Dogs, Salad) – Thank you Lake Oswego Lions Club!
12:00pm – 3:00pm
- Activities + Vendors (continued)
- Community Partner Resource Tables (continued)
- Dance party!
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 other disability, 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 the Buddy Teams Page. Buddy Team captains and immediate family are invited to participate in a Buddy Team Tailgate Party the weekend before the DSNO Buddy Walk® for a special celebration.
Organizations and businesses who would like to connect with our local Down syndrome community are 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 our contact page.
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