WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls Buddy Walk is a celebration of those with down syndrome and their families. This year, the walk has been canceled because of COVID-19.
This year would have been the third year for the Wichita Falls Buddy Walk. But officials say having the walk this year would have been too much of a risk.
The Buddy Walk was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to promote down syndrome awareness. 2020 was set to be the third year for Wichita Falls to have its own event. But as coronavirus cases rise in Wichita County, Buddy Walk officials made the tough choice to cancel the event.
“It’s very disappointing,” Buddy Walk chair Katie Lindemann said. “I know me personally and all of our committee we always look forward to this event. It’s our favorite time of the year. It’s great for people in our community with disabilities to get together and just celebrate their beautiful life. So to have to cancel it especially last second it’s pretty disappointing.”
Most funds raised by the Buddy Walk go to the arc of Wichita County who will also be impacted by not having the event.
“We totally understand the decision of the Buddy Walk committee to cancel, just out of the safety of all the participants and the people putting it on. But it is going to be tough on our budget this year as is just inability to fundraise, have big fundraisers,” The Arc of Wichita County executive director Addison Roberts said.
Buddy Walk also funds other non profits around the area.
“Last year we bought the Miracle League Wichita Falls all-new uniforms for this season. And this year we had another local non-profit in mind, but it’s just gonna depend on how much money we raise from this year,” Lindemann said.
This cancellation comes as another blow to local non-profits, during this pandemic.