Author: Jen Franklin Kearns, ds-connex team member
Walk Profile: Treasure Coast Buddy Walk®
Walk Date: Saturday, October 10, 2015
Who: Treasure Coast Down Syndrome Awareness Group (TCDSAG)
Location: Port Saint Lucie Civic Center; Port St Lucie, Florida
Walk Registration Website: http://www.ds-stride.org/treasurecoastbuddywalk
Organization Website: http://www.tcdownsyndromeag.org/
On Saturday, October 10th, the Down syndrome community of Florida’s Treasure Coast will gather their friends and families to celebrate their 2015 Buddy Walk®. Taking place at a new location this year, the Port Saint Lucie Civic Center, the walk guarantees to be a fun time for all. We had the pleasure of chatting with Laurie Frost, treasurer of the TCDSAG and longtime Treasure Coast Buddy Walk® participant, about her family’s experience at the event.
Laurie looks forward to the event because they are “bringing awareness in the community” while spending time with “all these new friends” they’ve acquired over the years. “We have people we can lean on and talk to…it’s a big, big, big support group.”
Laurie’s 15 year old daughter, Kristina, is the second of four girls. Kristina enjoys dancing, singing, and participating in the FRIENDS Choir. Her infectious smile allows her to stand out in a crowd, and she loves interacting with other people. Kristina is fortunate to have three sisters who enjoy spending time with her, each sharing in different activities (from photography to singing), and all looking out for her and treating her as they would anyone else.
The Frost family is very active in the Treasure Coast Buddy Walk®. Laurie helps plan the event, and heads up Team Kristina, while her husband is a musician and performs every year at the walk. Family and friends sign on to walk with Team Kristina, and this will be their eighth year at the walk. Laurie looks forward to seeing “the smiles on everybody’s faces”, which make her “feel like I’m home. Nobody is judging anybody for anything.” Kristina looks forward to the food, performing in the FREIENDS Choir and playing with her peers at the event. The family feel of the walk allows parents to relax a little bit, because “every parent is watching out for all the kids,” Laurie explains, which promotes the warm atmosphere of the event. It is truly a celebration of each individual with Down syndrome, and Laurie shares, “our guys can do the same things as anybody else! It may take a little longer, but it’s gettin’ done!”
Funds raised by this year’s event will be put to great use. New parent packages, conventions, and family sponsorships (to help pay for services like behavioral analysis) will be funded, support for families will be provided (for example, gift cards will be given to families going through surgeries), new partnerships will be created (they are currently exploring inclusive summer dance class opportunities), and Siblings Day Out activities will be hosted.
Laurie really sums up their event nicely when she says that it brings “a lot of love to the community”. To participate in the 2015 Treasure Coast Buddy Walk®, please visit http://www.ds-stride.org/treasurecoastbuddywalk. To learn more about the Treasure Coast Down Syndrome Awareness Group, please visit http://www.tcdownsyndromeag.org/.
This post is a continuation of our Down Syndrome Walk Profile series. We’ll be profiling and highlighting Down Syndrome Walks from around the country in an effort to share the stories and experiences that make Down syndrome communities so vibrant and unique. Check back for future posts in this series coming soon.