AUGUSTA — Capitol Park will play host to Augusta’s third annual Buddy Walk on Sunday in an effort to bring awareness to those with Down syndrome.

Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 1 p.m. After the walk, which is sponsored by the Maine Down Syndrome Network, there will be lunch and entertainment. A Buddy Walk will take place in Portland at the same time.

Amy Albert, chairwoman of the Augusta Buddy Walk, said money raised from the walks go to education and support for families who have children with Down syndrome.

Last year’s walk and its 120 participants raised $4,500, according to Albert, and it’s been growing steadily for the last three years. She said last year, 10 families with members who have Down syndrome participated in the walk.

Albert said a couple of Girl Scout troops host face painting and game booths.

The Buddy Award will be presented before the walk. It’s given to someone in the educating, community support or health care field each year.

Albert and her husband, Norman, who live in Lisbon Falls, have been hosting the Augusta walk for all three years. She said her family has made great friends and connections through the walks.

“It’s just a day to celebrate, really,” she said.

The Maine Down Syndrome Network gives support and provides education for parents of children with Down syndrome. Albert said hospitals introduce parents to the organization when they first find out they’re having a child with Down syndrome. The group then serves as a resource for anything from finding a helpful pediatrician to potty training.

“We offer that first response, whether you find out you’re carrying a baby with Downs or you deliver a baby with Downs. The support is there,” she said.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

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