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Buddy Walk Raises Thousands

Jericho-based Alexander’s Angels kicked off Down Syndrome Awareness Month with more than 2,000 people at scenic Tanner Park in Copiague on October 5 for the organization’s annual Buddy Walk.   

At noon, wearing what seemed like a rainbow of t-shirts and carrying banners and posters to identify their teams, a crowd of eager “buddywalkers” followed the Civil Air Patrol NY 288 Cadet Squadron Color Guard on the traditional one-mile walk around the park and through the boardwalk. Approximately 80 teams raised more than $80,000 for Alexander’s Angels 7th L.I. Buddy Walk with donations still arriving online and by mail.

As with every large family, the event included acknowledgement of sad and happy occasions. It paused twice, once to share condolences with David “D. J.” Hopkins’ family for his untimely passing. The second, to sing Happy Birthday to Freddy Zureick who just turned 4.

To fulfill its mission to highlight abilities of individuals with Down syndrome, Alexander’s Angels invited 14-year-old Mary Elizabeth Setti and self-advocate Kyle Erickson to sing the Star Spangled Banner. A Citation by Nassau County Edward Mangano was presented to Alexander’s Angels by Dr. James Dolan.

 —Tribune Staff