SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Walking a mile in their shoes, hundreds gathered in Schenectady’s Central Park for the 20th annual Capital Region Buddy Walk to benefit locals with Down syndrome, and a program that supports them.
It’s a cause near and dear to NEWS10’s Christina Arangio who emceed the event with her son by her side.
“We are spreading awareness, we are promoting inclusion, and with your support and the money we raise locally here, we can help people with DS reach their full potential,” Arangio said.
Her own son, Luke, has Down syndrome. On Sunday, he was all smiles at the Buddy Walk with his family.
Arangio says he has gained so much from the Aim High Resource Center that the walk raises money for.
“Luke has benefited from the tremendous reading program through the resource center,” Arangio added. “He’s reading beautifully now, and that’s just one of the many things that the resource center does.”
The walk is much more than a fundraiser.
“We’re really walking to congratulate the accomplishments and the achievements of individuals with down syndrome of all ages,” said Anne Schneider Costigan from the Down syndrome Aim High Resource Center.
In a sea of friends and family, those with Down syndrome get their moment to shine.
“We are so proud of them because they are a shining example of what people with DS can accomplish,” said Arangio.
This year’s event welcomed more than 500 walkers, raising about $40,000.