MADISON, Ala. – BUDS, is hosting the 21st annual Buddy Walk in Madison. It takes place Saturday, September 23 at Columbia Elementary School.

The walk includes fun activities and inflatables, as well as a foam party, balloon art and face painting. Lunch is included with registration. People can register on the morning of the event. Registration and activities begin at 10:00 a.m. and it will conclude at 2:00 p.m.

Amanda Phelps, Vice President of BUDS, says the walk is their biggest fundraiser of the year. There will be live auctions at the event to raise money for the organization.

BUDS was established 21 years ago. BUDS Co-President, Canielia Patterson, says the organization was started by a mother of a child with Downs Syndrome. BUDS is an acronym for “Bringing Up Down Syndrome”. It offers support to families across North Alabama.

The nonprofit provides New Parent Packets to all families with a child who is newly diagnosed with Down syndrome. They contain information and resources to educate families about Down Syndrome and how to care for the child.

BUDS also provides up to $500 mini-grants to families to help with expenses like medical bills, co-pays, and adaptive equipment like eyeglasses and orthotics.