MEDIA CONTACT
Shauna Norris
941-351-0024

Manasota B.U.D.S. – a volunteer-based organization whose mission is to promote understanding and acceptance of Down syndrome – is proud to announce that the 14th Annual Manasota B.U.D.S. Buddy Walk® will take place on Saturday, October 17, 2015, at the Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival, 5500 County Road 675, Bradenton. Check-in/on-site registration begins at 9:00 a.m., and the Buddy Walk starts at 11:15 a.m. More than 1,500 people of all ages and abilities are expected to attend the event, which is one of over 250 Walks across the country this fall to raise awareness and funds for programs that benefit people with Down syndrome and their families.

The event includes a country-mile walk through Hunsader Farms, featuring music provided by DJ Stancilitis, a raffle and silent auction, face-painting, Home Depot Kids Workshop, Buddy Up Tennis, and so much more! Registration fee is $15 per person and free for individuals with Down syndrome and children under three. Paid registration includes a free T-shirt, water and Gatorade, and entry into the Pumpkin Festival following the Buddy Walk. (Parking is $5 per car.) Anyone, with or without a direct connection to a member of the Down syndrome community, is welcome to attend. For more information, please visit www.manasotabuds.org/buddywalk or contact info@manasotabuds.org

About Manasota B.U.D.S.
Manasota B.U.D.S. (Bringing Up Down Syndrome) was formed in May 2002 by a small local group of families who wanted to network, compare notes, share stories and support one another. The organization maintains affiliations with the National Down Syndrome Society and the National Down Syndrome Congress, and has hosted an annual Buddy Walk to raise awareness and funds for programs that benefit people with Down syndrome and their families. Manasota B.U.D.S. became an affiliate of the Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action group in 2011. For more information, visit ManasotaBuds.org or call 941.907.0499. 

About The National Buddy Walk® Program
The goals of The National Buddy Walk® Program are to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and to positively influence local and national policy and practice. Last year alone, Buddy Walk® events raised nearly $13 million to benefit national advocacy initiatives, as well as local programs and services. All funds raised through the National Buddy Walk® Program support both local and national programs.

The National Buddy Walk® Program is supported by Emmy Award-winning Imagination Movers, who lend their talent by appearing in the new national public service announcement. “Buddy Walks are fantastic events where smiles are shared, hugs are free, games are played and most important, footsteps are heard as we all walk together to support people with Down syndrome," said Imagination Mover Scott Durbin.

Grapevine Communications provides full-service advertising, marketing and public relations services to clients nationwide. The firm is the most award-winning advertising agency in Sarasota, Florida, and the surrounding areas. For more information on Grapevine Communications, contact Shaunna Norris (SNorris@grapeinc.com) at 941-351-0024 or visit the website at www.grapeinc.com.

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