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2011 Orange County Buddy Walk – an AMAZING day!


Rain didn’t dampen our spirits, or make us forget why we were together on Sunday.

On Sunday, November 6, DSAOC had 45 exhibitors and more than 2,300 people in attendance at the 11th Annual Orange County Buddy Walk.

Rain drops began falling just after 7 a.m. and soon came the wind and chill.  At 9 a.m. when the gates opened and we expected to see much fewer numbers, families and supporters arrived with their arsenal of rain gear.

Families added extra tarps to the sides of their tents to protect their team members from the weather, exhibitors served coffee and hot chocolate, and people huddled together to stay warm.

Around 10 a.m., when the rain and wind seemed at its worse, people showed their best.  Strangers, linked together by the commonality of having a loved one with Down syndrome, pulled their team tents together for extra warmth, and also invited those without tents to join with them.

As if Mother Nature had our schedule, just before our Walk was due to start around 11 a.m., the rain stopped and the clouds parted!  More than 2,000 people that hung in there with us when the weather got rough, got to enjoy our live entertainment, including a beautiful stage performance by the Buena Park Hi-Tops, animal and reptile presentations by the Southern California Herpetology Association and The Wildlife Company, and our fabulous live band, The Vince, Bob & Buddy Band.

DJ Willpower kept the tunes going throughout the day, no matter what the weather was like.  He had a constant dancing audience of our teens and adults with Down syndrome, as well as others who wouldn’t let the rain stop their desire to move to great tunes.

Grand Marshall, Rex Hudler, thanked our families and supporters for hanging in there with us, and then got to work recognizing our Top teams and fundraisers.  Almost on schedule, our 11th Annual Buddy Walk commenced with happy faces and warmth that glowed from the inside out.

Thank you to all who participated and supported this event, and the mission’s of the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County and the National Down Syndrome Society.

Check out the photos and story from the  Orange County Register!

DSAOC’s photo gallery is LIVE! Our two fabulous volunteer photographers, Alan Madden and Terrie Tavis, have once again captured great memories from our Buddy Walk.

Alan Madden Photography

Terrie Tavis Photography

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