2023 NYC Buddy Walk®

February 23, 2024

For the past two years, I have been asked to be the photographer for the NYC Buddy Walk®. I can’t believe little ole me from Tennessee gets to go to the big city to do what I love. Since 1995, the Buddy Walk® has been the premier advocacy event for Down syndrome in the United States. It is also the world’s most widely recognized public awareness program for the Down syndrome community. 

Every year, thousands of people submit photos of their loved ones with Down syndrome to be on the Times Square jumbo screen. Only 500 individuals were chosen to be a part of the video. Even better, is the screen is donated by Clear Channel every year. People from all over the world come together to watch their loved ones on the big screen, and yes every year I cry. It is so beautiful watching the ones who were able to make it have their family and friends around them cheering and seeing how excited they get to be “famous”. I don’t know how many times I heard from someone that they are famous now because they were on the big screen.😄

After the Time Square video, we quickly had to go to Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park.
This was my first time in Central Park, and it was beautiful. When you are in the park, you barely remember being in the city. This year Barbie and NDSS collaborated to make the first Barbie with Down syndrome. There was so much to see from Famous people like Chris Burke from Life Goes On and Arik the Rapper, dancers, performers, characters and so much more. The National Athemen was sung by Mia Noelle Rodriguez who is an absolutely wonderful singer and hope to see her and the Rodriguez family again this year. Keep a look out for future blogs about the gala and more.