Clinton Down Syndrome Walk

Ashlyn Robinson

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The 8th annual Clinton Down Syndrome Walk will be held on Saturday, September 7, at the Clinton School Arena. Formerly known as the Buddy Walk, the Clinton Down Syndrome Walk is an enjoyable day for all children and families to gather together and have fun as well as a day to recognize those with Down Syndrome.

There are many games for children to play including a bouncy house to jump and bounce around in. Children are allowed to play with their friends with bouncy balls, or play a game such bean bag toss with many other games to choose from. The organization provides food to all families that appear to the walk. Registration will be at 9:30 and the walk normally begins around 11:00. Everyone will get a free meal, then all the participants with Down Syndrome will be recognized. The Down Syndrome Walk normally ends around 12:00 – 12:30. 

Every year over 500 people register for the walk. To attend there will be a fee of $10 per person ages 11 and up, $5 for ages 10 and below, and any person with down syndrome can apply for the “V.I.P Pass” with no cost. Any money received by the Down Syndrome Walk is given to local organizations like the National Down Syndrome Society, Arkansas Down Syndrome Association, Arkansas Special Olympics, The Ronald McDonald House and many other organizations, not only to support people and children with Down Syndrome, but other disabilities as well.  Around $10,000 to $14,000 is raised each year. Everyone is encouraged to donate, show up to the walk and give a hand to other groupings to help with down syndrome. 

Randi Newland, who is the main creator of the walk, had a child with Down Syndrome and had heard about a Buddy Walk in Dardanelle to raise awareness about Down Syndrome. She created the Down Syndrome Walk with help to raise awareness in Clinton. Weston Newland  was the inspiration for the Clinton Down Syndrome Walk to be created. His mom, Randi, wanted to be able to connect with other families. 

The Down Syndrome Walk was created by Randi Newland with the help of her friend Kristen Fish and also Darla McJunkins. Many people volunteer each year. The past year around 70 people volunteered to help with the walk. The volunteers are usually highschool students from Clinton, Conway, and Greenbrier.