Gold Coast Down Syndrome Buddy Walk Raises $175,000

The Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization, a nonprofit serving children and adults with Down syndrome and their families, raised a record-breaking net of $175,000 at its 19th annual Buddy Walk on Oct. 20 at John Prince Park. The event also drew its largest crowd — 2800 attendees.

Funds from the event will support the Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization’s Resource Center located in Boynton Beach, along with education, support, social and advocacy programs, including the Learning Program, the Exceptional Educators Program, the Next Chapter Book Club and Meet Greet Play and Learn.

This year, the Buddy Walk had additional food and its first presenting sponsor, thanks to G4S Secure Solutions North America headquartered in Jupiter, whose efforts contributed about $14,000 to the walk.

“G4S is committed to making a positive impact on the communities where we live and work, and supporting the Buddy Walk is a great way to do that,” G4S President Drew Levine said. “We are proud and honored to support the efforts of the Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization to not only promote understanding of people with intellectual disabilities but also to create opportunities for them to contribute to and become valued members of society.”

Major sponsors for the Buddy Walk included presenting sponsor G4S, Global Tower Partners, FirstService Residential, the GEO Group, International Rail Partners, Pacific Rail Holdings, Toshiba Business Solutions Florida, Ace Environmental Services, Amtrust Bank, Florida Crystals, Pollo Tropical, Raymond James, Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, 12 Point Associates, City Furniture, Estate Properties of Palm Beach, FPL, Hair Studio Artists, Plastridge Insurance, Publix, the Sofabed Company, Sun Fabrics Inc., Vinny’s Pizza, Spectrum Speech & Language Service and Walser Law Firm.

Cindy Calvagne served as walk chair. Top fundraisers were Chari Sassin, Celine Thibault, Janessa Gross, Daniela Chea, Gail Marino, Tina Trujillo, Maureen Chriske, Toby Brodtman, Dylan Calvagne, Roni Faerman and Mark Capozzi. The largest walk team was Team Back ‘N’ Jack.

Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization is a health, educational resource, support and advocacy organization, which has been empowering individuals with Down syndrome and their families since 1980.

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