WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — For the fourth year, two local nonprofit organizations are partnering to raise money and awareness for a great cause.

The Fourth Annual Buddy Walk is an event held since 2018 to spread awareness and promote inclusion for individuals with Down Syndrome.

The event begins Saturday, October 8, 2022, at 10 a.m. at Garnett Field on the campus of McNiel Middle School, located on Barnett Road.

Two local nonprofit organizations, The Arc of Wichita County and the Play For All Community Playground initiative, will directly benefit from all funds raised at the event.

Katie Wilson, part of the Board of Directors at the Arc of Wichita County, said it’s all about celebrating those with Down Syndrome.

“We gather a bunch of friends and family that have loved ones that have Down Syndrome and we celebrate how amazing those people are to us,” Wilson said.

Wilson said there will be bounce houses, face painting, balloon animals, a craft table, a sensory room, a live DJ, raffle prizes and giveaways.

“Lots and lots of fun, you will not be bored,” Wilson said.

This event is fun for the whole family, and not just those who are connected to someone with Down Syndrome.

“It is for anybody and everybody,” Wilson said. “We actually really encourage the public to come, even if you don’t have a connection with Down Syndrome, it’s a really great way to expose your kids who might not look exactly like your kids do, and so we really encourage the public to come. “

The goal is to raise money as well. Buddy Walk has already surpassed its original $65,000 fundraising goal, but Wilson said that doesn’t mean the giving needs to stop.

“The Arc provides a lot of programs for kids with special needs, and those programs are all very expensive,” Wilson said. “So every extra dollar even past our fundraising goal goes to a really great cause, and it’s very much needed.”

If you’d like to donate to the Buddy Walk to support The Arc of Wichita County and the Play For All Community Playground initiative, you can do so on the Buddy Walk’s website.