The fifth Annual CSRA Buddy Walk is returning to Columbia County.
The walk to help raise funds and awareness for Down Syndrome will be Saturday at the Columbia County Amphitheater, behind the library in Evans. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m. with post-walk festivities after.
Down Syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs in about one of every 733 births and affects more than 350,000 people in the United States.
The Buddy Walk was created by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) in 1995 as part of Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome. The first year there were 17 walks. In 2012, there are 250 planned walks in the United States and five other countries.
Saturday’s walk is a collaborative effort between Upside of Downs Inc. (Augusta) and the Upside of Downs of Aiken. They have surpassed the fundraising goal of $5,000, with 20 teams having raised $11,312 thus far.
A percentage of the money raised will go to NDSS, while part will cover event costs and the rest will go to families in the community.
According to information on the Upside of Downs of Aiken Web site, more than 700 people attended the 2011 walk at the USC Aiken Convocation Center, raising more than $32,000.
To donate to the walk, go to www.firstgiving.com/upsideofaiken/2012-csra-buddy-walk.
For information on how to particicipate in or donate to the walk, e-mail Csrabuddywalk2008@hotmail.com or call (803) 648-1652.