Thank you, everyone, who came out to this year’s walk, who could have asked for a better day?!
Today I put the rest of the Buddy Walk stuff in my attic and it’s kind of bittersweet to close out another year. Although it is nice to have some time back, it’s sad to see all the Down syndrome hype go away. As I spent my Sunday working away at wrap up items I started to get frustrated because there is so much other ‘house’ stuff I need to get caught up on and then I paused to think….over the past 13 years we have raised and given out over 1.3 million dollars…yes 1.3 million!! That is a whole lot of awareness, support, legislative change, continuing education support, and more!! How amazing is that?!
I’m still amazed at how much emotion and energy is at each walk. It always brings tears to my eyes to see so many happy families, to see all the family members and friends that come out to walk, young and old. For at least one day, the Down syndrome world is perfect. No sorrys, no ‘he can’t do that’, but instead, all joy and support. I wish every day could be a Buddy Walk day! Even the golfers I had to interrupt to put signs out along the path had smiles when I told them what we were doing.
We know this year was a big change with the move and we learned a few things about this new space so you know next year is going to be even more amazing and packed with goodness! Currently, we are at $98,000 raised and we have a few more things to add in so hopefully we will break $100,000.
Congrats to Team Conner’s Crew, they will be our VIP team for next year!
Here are the top five fundraising teams from this year:
- Connor’s Crew
- Luke’s Loyal Fans
- Samantha’s Grace
- Bella’s Buddies
- Team Maura
Thank you, teams, for a year well done, we couldn’t do any of this without your support!
Aurelio’s Pizza would like to apologize for not having their food truck at the walk. Unfortunately, the truck was in an accident on the way to our walk. Luckily everyone was ok but the truck took a big hit and had to be towed away with the ruined pizza’s inside. They are hoping to join us in 2016!
After reading the survey results, I wanted to clear some things up. We saw that a lot of people were upset we moved from Cantigny. We had a great run with them and we would like to thank them for letting us use their facility all these years. However, they put a few new rules in place if we were going to stay there and we just didn’t think it would work. We would have had to bus everyone in and they also wanted us to be done and out of the park by noon. Trust me when I say we tried to figure out a solution that would work for both sides but in the end we felt it better to find a larger location that would accommodate our growing walk. Actually we couldn’t be happier than having to find a bigger place so that more people could enjoy our walk for years to come. Please remember we do make decisions based on what is best for the walk and there were many other things that went into the decision to move. My team looked high and low for a spot and Bolingbrook Golf Club opened up to us and they were very accommodating. I would like to thank them for letting us use their facility and for having such fantastic staff! There aren’t many places willing to accept a 3500 large family picnic.
Our committee keeps getting smaller and the walk keeps growing. So if you can spare a little time please help us out! There is only so much 6 people can do in their ‘spare’ time. We have spots on the committee that meet and we also have spots for those that can’t make it to the meetings. There is something for everyone so step up if you can. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing. Our first meeting will be in January.
Thanks again everyone for a fantastic year and we can’t wait to see you next year!
Check out the photos from the day here.
If you still have donations to turn in you can mail them to:
Chicagoland Buddy Walk, 2328 E Lincoln Hwy, Suite 210, New Lenox, IL 60451