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Jacksonville Beach Buddy Walk raises $300K for local Down Syndrome nonprofit

Families attending the 19th Annual Buddy walk at Jax Beach. (John Daigle)

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – The 19th annual Buddy Walk in Jax Beach was held on Saturday. The event raised more than $300,000 to support the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville, which is a record for the nonprofit and above their intended goal of $255,000.

Photo of previous Buddy Walk at Jacksonville Beach Pavilion. (Photo provided to WJXT)

More than 2,000 walkers showed up at the Seawalk Pavilion to help raise money and enhance the lives of children, teens and adults with Down syndrome in Jacksonville and the surrounding communities.

Along with the one-mile walk on the beach, there were other family friendly festival activities, including bounce houses, carnival rides, music, face painting, and more.

Families attending the 19th Annual Buddy walk at Jax Beach.

DSAJ Executive Director Debbie Revels was excited to be back out at the beach, especially since last year’s event had to be hosted virtually. “This is event is about more than fundraising – it’s about our friends and loved ones with Down syndrome seeing that this community appreciates them for their abilities and doesn’t just see their differences,” Revels said.

The Buddy Walk is a nationwide event that was created to celebrate individuals with Down syndrome and to ensure they are given the opportunity to become valued members of the community.