Columbus Buddywalk Project


DSACO_BW_FINAL I first got involved with the Buddy Walk in 2009 when I began working at GroundWork group, a local at GroundWork group, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Columbus, Ohio. One of my first major projects was helping in the development of a peer-to-peer fund raising platform which  the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio could use to run and manage their event. GroundWork group had had some significant successes in running these types of events having built the system that backs Pelotonia, an annual bike event which helps fund research. Using GroundWork group’s success in this project, I began developing a platform that was specifically geared towards the Buddy Walk. Since 2009 I’ve worked closely with the staff and organizers at the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio to create a highly customizable, peer-to-peer, profile based, fundraising platform.The system itself is built using Java backed by a Microsoft SQL database. It integrates directly with the organization’s payment processing service providing them with immediate access to funds raised. We are now approaching our fourth year in running the Columbus Buddy Walk on the third revision of the system and last year the folks at the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio were able to raise over $350,000 dollars and accommodate over 3500 walkers using this system. I am proud to have assisted in its development and hope to continue to support their cause in any way I can.This year’s event is planned to launch on World Down Syndrome Day which is 3/21. Keep an eye on for updates and register when it goes live!

The Buddy Walk® was developed by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) in 1995 to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.

The Buddy Walk has grown from 17 walks in 1995 to nearly 275 walks planned for 2013 worldwide.  In 2012, more than $11.75 million was raised nationwide to support local programs and services, as well as national advocacy and public awareness initiatives of NDSS that benefit all individuals with Down syndrome.

Whether you have Down syndrome, know someone who does or just want to show your support, come and join us!  At the Buddy Walk®, you will join 5,000 walkers from all over Central Ohio as we unite for a common cause and raise funds to support the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio and NDSS.

What does the Columbus Buddy Walk® fund?

Funds raised through the Columbus Buddy Walk® will provide critically needed family support and services.

For example:

  • $100 will fund two New Parent Packets for expectant or new parents who have a baby diagnosed with Down syndrome.
  • $200 will fund a full recreational scholarship for a person with Down syndrome.
  • $500 will fund a workshop for parents on a topic such as IEPs or potty training.
  • $500 will fund materials, babysitting, and refreshments for a DSACO support or activity group for one year.
  • $1,500 will fund a portion of an annual conference such as the Adult and Education conferences.