Thursday, September 23, 2010

7th Annual Down syndrome Outreach Buddy Walk!

The Arc's 7th Annual Down syndrome Outreach Buddy Walk is taking place in Fairhaven this October 2nd! Featuring food, games, music and more, the Buddy Walk has been promoting acceptance and awareness of people with Down syndrome since 1995. Buddy Walks are held across the country, from Bellingham to Washington, DC. This year's walk begins at the Fairhaven Village Green and winds through downtown Fairhaven. Events, including music by DJ Ryan Dodge, begin at 11 am and continue until 2.

Down syndrome Outreach is an entirely volunteer program. The Buddy Walk is their largest event of the year. They are looking for additional volunteers to help prepare for the event, both in the next several weeks and on the day of the Walk. If you're interested in volunteering, please contact Makenna Padgett at The Arc of Whatcom County by calling (360) 715-0170 x205 or by emailing

Originally posted September 14, 2010. Reposted.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

October 2nd Declared Down syndrome Awareness Day

County Executive Pete Kremen addresses the crowd at the 2009 Buddy Walk

County Executive Pete Kremen and Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike have declared October 2nd Down syndrome Awareness Day! (Click here for a copy of the official proclamation.) Both officials will be on hand to open The Arc's 7th Annual Buddy Walk on October 2nd.

"People with Down syndrome are active participants in community life in Bellingham," Mayor Pike said. "I am pleased to join in celebrating the accomplishments of children and adults with Down syndrome, and in efforts to make other community members aware of these accomplishments as well as Down syndrome programs and issues."

Click here to download a pledge sheet!

The Buddy Walk® was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Today, the Buddy Walk program is supported nationally by NDSS and organized here in Whatcom County by Down syndrome Outreach and The Arc of Whatcom County.

Over the past fifteen years, the Buddy Walk program has grown from 17 walks to more than 300 across the country and around the world. Last year alone, 250,000 people participated in a Buddy Walk! They raised more than $9.5 million to benefit local programs and services as well as the national advocacy initiatives that benefit all individuals with Down syndrome.

The Buddy Walk is a one-mile walk in which anyone can participate without special training. It is a wonderful, heart-warming event that celebrates the many abilities and accomplishments of people with Down syndrome. Whether you have Down syndrome, know someone who does, or just want to show your support, come to the Fairhaven Green on October 2nd!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bicycling for Awareness

This summer, Ryan Dodge bicycled 4,000 miles in 67 days in order to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities. Dodge and 90 other members of the fraternity Pi Kappa Phi cycled from San Francisco or Seattle to Washington, DC, stopping at Arc chapters along the route to meet with a fascinating and diverse group of people.

The nineteen year old Dodge is the son of The Arc's new Executive Director Corinne Clarke. Please join us at the Dan Godwin Community Center following the Board of Director's meeting on Saturday, September 25 at 10 am where he will share tales of his adventures. The meeting lasts until 11:30 and light snacks will be served.

Ryan is also the Keynote speaker and DJ for this year's Down syndrome Outreach Buddy Walk. The seventh annual Buddy Walk travels through Fairhaven on Saturday, October 2 from 11am to 2pm, and features music, food and games. Come out and have some fun!