The Down Syndrome Association in Jacksonville aims to raise $ 255,000 during the Friends March


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Teams across northeast Florida and southeast Georgia are raising money on Saturdays in small groups.

Jacksonville, Florida – The Down Syndrome Association at the Buddy March in Jacksonville looks a little different in 2020. It hasn’t been held in the usual Jacksonville Seawalk Pavilion due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teams across northeast Florida and southeast Georgia are raising money on Saturdays in small groups.

“My family will cook in the backyard,” said Julie Stinkamp. “Whenever there is an opportunity for my husband to release the big green egg and party, that’s what we will do.”

Julie Stinkamp and her 13-year-old son Luke Stinkamp will collect money during a barbecue party on the Friends’ Cole Hand Luke’s Team Trip,

“This is our team,” said Julie Stinkamp, ​​”because Luke is always great, and he gets along with the flow.”

She said that programs through DSAJ mean the world to her and her son.

“They do social groups with all different age groups,” she said. “He has been playing football on the soccer team for five or six years. He plays basketball.”

Southside United Methodist Church in San Marco is one organization that is involved in Buddy Walk. They are walking a mile.

“We thought The Buddy Walk was the perfect opportunity to invite friends and neighbors to our special-capacity friends with Down syndrome in the neighborhood,” said Amy Franks, youth manager at Southside United Methodist Church.

DSAJ receives no federal or state money. Everything is paid for with donations, and Steinkamp said the funds are helping Luke thrive.

“People always say, well, what can’t he do? Can’t he do that?” Steinkamp said, “He can’t do this,” but we really love talking about all the things Luke can do.

The goal is to raise $ 255,000 from Buddy Walk for this year, and the teams have raised $ 208,000 so far. You can donate via Click here.


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