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Andrade to kick off annual Walk Beside Me Buddy Walk

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Mike Andrade (D-Munster) will celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month with the Down Syndrome Association of Northwest Indiana (DSANWI) at their annual Walk beside Me Buddy Walk and Fall Family Day this Sunday (Oct. 24) at the Lake County Fair Grounds in Crown Point, Indiana.

The Walk beside Me Buddy Walk is the largest fundraiser of the year supporting DSANWI.

Andrade will kick off the ceremonial Buddy Walk around Fanscher Lake at 11:00 a.m. (CT). To mark the end of the Walk, the Lake County Sheriff's Aviation Unit will land their helicopter for all to see.

“I am honored to be kicking off this year's Buddy Walk and to support such a wonderful organization,” Andrade said. “It's truly moving to see the community come together in celebration of our friends with Down Syndrome. I look forward to continuing to promote awareness and inclusion within our communities and state as a whole.”

This Fall Family Day will also feature tractor rides donated by the Lake County Historical Tractor Association, a giant Pumpkin Bounce House, and other family-friendly activities sponsored by local partners. A Community Resource Fair will also take place in the pavilion.

Those interested in participating in the Buddy Walk can register as an individual or group at or at the gate when they arrive.

Gates open at 9:00 a.m. (CT).

For more information, to reserve a table at the Community Resource Fair or to donate to the DSANWI, call the office at (219)838-3656 or visit


About the Down Syndrome Association of Northwest Indiana (DSANWI):

The DSANWI is a volunteer-run community organization that has provided social, therapeutic, educational, support, and workforce development programs and activities since 1987. DSANWI serves families from north to the Lake, east to Valparaiso & Portage and as far south as Lowell and Demotte and even some southeast Chicago and suburban Illinois communities. The Schererville Friendship Center opened in May 2021 to celebrate the friendships formed between individuals and with the community in NWI. Their newest Friendship Center at 550 E. Burrell Drive in Crown Point is set to open mid-November to serve families in far south Lake County.

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