Down Syndrome challenges community with 21-Hour Blitz

Monday’s fundraiser to kickstart group’s Buddy Walk set for next month

Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville's Challenge for the Community
Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville's Challenge for the Community

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville is challenging the community to help it raise money Monday during what it is calling the 21-Hour Blitz.

The name has meaning for anyone familiar with the genetic disorder.

“The significance of 21 is, Down Syndrome is medically known as trisomy 2. It means three chromosomes on the 21st pair. So the significance of 21 is much greater for those with down syndrome," said Jeff Leach, board president of the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville.

The fight is personal for Leach. His daughter, Sydney, has Down Syndrome.

“Our association has been hit hard, like most nonprofits around the world. We have lost all of our funding sources for this year, all of our fundraisers that we’ve had have had to be canceled so this year. We’re really trying to put an effort into fundraising with the Buddy Walk and the Blitz is one of the ways we can do that," Leach said.

All money raised Monday will go toward the group’s $250,000 fundraising goal for next month’s Buddy Walk. Those funds will help expand services and the association’s wellness and fitness programs.


Leach said this year’s Buddy Walk will be reimagined because of the pandemic. It will take place in smaller teams who will have their own private walks across the community.

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