Beckley Buddy Walk The Sequel

When one is trying to pull off a sequel it is usually a struggle. You want to live up to the original as much as possible.  Before we get into the mayhem of Saturday. I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every person who has donated their time and energy to making Beckley Buddy Walk 2 possible.  I would be amiss to try and list them all here. You know who you are. You are loved and appreciated.

We have gone into this project with our Buddies and families as a priority.  Every time there has been an idea the question has been asked is that something that our families would like?

We hope you will see where our hard work has paid off. Sure Beckley Buddy Walk is a Fundraiser. But it is first and foremost for us a celebration of our families and the love we share.  The Joy and Smiles.  We are promoting the acceptance and inclusion of our friends and family with Down syndrome.

With that being said, I would like to introduce you to our Self Advocate and Walk leader for 2014. Ricky Sexton of Mercer County.  This man has inspiration.  He and his family are wonderful people. He is a take charge man who knows what he wants out of life and celebrates it everyday.  He is active in many projects and we look forward to him leading our walk on Saturday.RickY

Beckley Buddy Walk is almost here!

We want to Thank our Sponsors for your help !  We could not do it without you.

Our 2014 Walk  poster features faces some shining faces from last year’s walk as well as our Self Advocate and this year’s Walk Leader Ricky Sexton, of Mercer County.  Ricky is a vibrant and exciting personality and we cannot wait for him to lead the walk on October 4th!

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Our Event flyer features just some of the things that will be happening at Beckley Buddy Walk. Believe it or not.. There is MORE! You won’t want to miss a minute. We look forward to having you with us.

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ooking forward to Beckley Buddy Walk! The Celebration of our families!

Yes, I Can! DANCE is Back!!

A Dance Class for Children of ALL Abilities and Their Siblings
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Yes, I Can! DANCE, is a Dance class for children of all abilities. No matter the diagnosis we are offering a class designed to meet the special needs community. YICD in association with the West Virginia Dance Company takes mobility and sensory into consideration with this open class environment. We encourage siblings and parents to participate.    We have received great response to the idea of a dance class for Special Needs Children and their families. This program is offered for a limited time at no cost.

Classes will be held in
The Main Community Room of  Faith Community Church
299 Grey Flats Rd   Beckley, WV 25801

Tue., September 23 – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Parents Meeting
Depending on the number of participants we are planning on 2 sessions.
Little movers 5:00- 5:45  and Advanced Groovers 6:00-7:00 Starting September 30.


YICD is a project of the Down Syndrome Family Support Group of Southern West Virginia &  5 Star Playlabs, but is open to all children of the Special Needs Community.

Our Instructor: Cameron Clark
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Cameron Clark, 22, of Greenville, OH, began studying dance at the age of 4 in Barbara Rethlake’s Dance Studio. Professionally Cameron danced with Simerson and Co. and debuted with the company at Jacob’s Pillow on July 25th, 2014. Cameron now dances with West Virginia Dance Company in Beckley, WV.  He looks forward to his first season with the company and working with YICD.

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Registration/RELEASE Form: (Please print clearly)
Student’s Name:___________________________________________________________
Sibling Participants: ________________________________________________________
Parents/Guardians’ Names:__________________________________________________
Address: _________________________________________________________________
Phone:_______________________________________
Email:________________________________________

To better prepare for the class we would like to ask a couple of questions about the student:

 

What are his/her Special Needs/Diagnosis:

Does he/she have an apparatus or orthotics?



Are there other conditions we should know about? (i.e. vision, hearing impaired, sensory)



Students should dress comfortably in t-shirts and active wear. Please bring your own water or beverage. Since there will be substantial movement, we ask that students wear all orthotics and use any apparatus as medically

needed. We will work them with hopes they will fully participate and get the most out of every class.
NOTE: PARENTS/GUARDIANS are required to stay during the class. You know your child best. We ask that you stay as an encouragement to your child as well as a supervisor of his/her condition. By signing this form, you agree that you will stay during all classes and you also acknowledge that the student is medically able to participate. As you and your students are participating of your own free will, you agree to hold forever harmless and release all participating entities including but not limited to The Down Syndrome Family Support Group of Southern West Virginia, 5 Star Playlabs, Faith Community Church, The West Virginia Dance Company, New River Community and Technical College, as well as all members and organizers, of liability of any kind whatsoever, including injury or death that may occur. If you are not in agreement with this provision and are not willing to further attest by signature of your acceptance to these terms, we recommend you do not participate. By signing this registration form, you are releasing all involved entities of all liability and agree to the concept of this program.

Signature ___________________________________ Date:___________________________

 

Beckley Buddy Walk – Blog post from DS Connex

The planning for Beckley Buddy Walk is coming together . We have had the honor of teaming up this year with DS-Connex a wonderful organization that works with buddy walks across the nation helping them make their Walks extra Special. Just like our families.  Here is Blog post the wrote about our walk – We hope you are making plans to join us.

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Also Be sure to follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BeckleyBuddyWlk
and like us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/BeckleyBuddyWalk

http://www.ds-connex.org/community/blog/buddy-walk-profile-beckley-buddy-walk/

Author: Lara Kretler, ds-connex team member

Buddy Walk Date: Saturday, October 4th, 2014
Who: Down Syndrome Support Group of Southern West Virginia
Location: New River Park, Beckley, WV
Buddy Walk website: www.ds-stride.org/beckleybuddywalk
Beckley Down With That organization website: https://downwiththat.wordpress.com/

The Beckley, WV Buddy Walk® event is back for a second year with the tagline: Beckley Buddy Walk 2, The Sequel. With a name like that, the Beckley Buddy Walk is sure to be a good time!

Organizer Lola Rizer, who is a radio personality in Beckley, says the Buddy Walk feels almost like a small family reunion – but one that is growing fast. In a tradition beginning last year, the Beckley Buddy Walk event kicks off the first day of a longstanding West Virginia celebration known as the Rocket Boys Festival. The Festival honors the life and work of Homer Hickam, an American author, Vietnam veteran and former NASA engineer whose story was told in the popular 1999 movie October Sky.

Beckley Buddy Walk Blog Picture

“I was approached to create a Buddy Walk as part of the Rocket Boys festival. They were looking for an event to kick off the day, and my husband and I were working with the Rocket Boys festival in general and it was suggested that maybe we do a Buddy Walk because there wasn’t one for this area. We said sure, let’s do one, that was how it all started, it was kind of a, Hey, why not, let’s do this and see what happens, and the response was amazingly overwhelming,” says Lola.

When asked what she remembers most about the inaugural Beckley Buddy Walk event last year, Lola laughingly says that probably the most talked-about moment was the impromptu mascot dance-off. This spontaneous dance party started in the pavilion with several family members, and everyone was having a wonderful time. “Several mascots, including the University of Charleston Beckley campus eagle mascot and the Chick-fil-A cow, were dancing with the families, having a wonderful time, and apparently a challenge was made and the dance-off began, and it was quite the time – thank God we have video!” she adds.

Lola shares that a lot of the families really appreciate that the event focuses on family activities, having something for the little guys to do, with a wide range of ages accounted for. “We have a lot of older participants that have older family members with Down syndrome, but then we also have a lot of little guys, toddlers and younger family members as well, so we really tried to focus on having activities that covered everybody, from having fire trucks and those type of activities available down to having sensory play areas: sand, bubble art, balloons, face painting and games. Something for everybody, and never a dull moment across the board, so that there is always something going on while you are here.”

Asked to describe the culture of this southern WV Buddy Walk event, Lola says that what makes it special is not having to travel far to get to such a special celebration. “People are telling me that they’re really happy that there’s one in Beckley. It’s a nice central location, where we are here at a crossroads, right off of a major interstate, there’s relatively easy access to major thoroughfares so it makes perfect sense to have one here just for the traffic part of it. Now that we’ve done it, it’s beyond me why somebody hasn’t done it before.”

As with other Buddy Walk events, the funds raised will go to local support programs in the community, including dance classes. “Our Yes I can dance program, our Yes I can yoga class, our Yes I can swim class which we’ve just started in this area but we’re very excited about,” says Lola. “In addition, if funds allow, a sensory playground project will hopefully be built right there at New River Park where we’re going to be having our Buddy Walk, so we’ll have a place for families to have meetings and things like that right there. We’re hoping to raise a ton of money for our sensory playground.”

The Beckley Buddy Walk takes on the feel of a family reunion because it is, in many ways, just that – a gathering of individuals who make up the local Down syndrome community or family. “I met people that I’ve never met before at the last Buddy Walk event and I’ve also really connected with people that – I don’t know if they’ve realized it or not – they’ve made a huge impact on my life. People who have inspired me to kind of keep going with the projects that we’ve started. Whenever I’m out and I’m working on a project, I refer to “my families.” Every person, every family that comes to a Buddy Walk event, I consider them my families. They’re my extended family. Everything that we try to do at a Buddy Walk, I do for my families, and so for me it’s a family reunion.”

How did Lola and the Beckley Buddy Walk event organizers decide to call year two “The Sequel”? Lola explains: “Everybody was doing “the second annual.” I thought oh, we’ve got to do something different, something creative. Last year was the inaugural Beckley Buddy Walk and we were talking about movie names and my husband suggested, “how about we call it Beckley Buddy Walk 2: The Sequel.” And I was like, “Oh, I like that.” And so we decided to play off of that a little bit, and so our tagline after that is “we are stars” and we’ll have a movie theme. I am going to get star signs, and all of our Buddies will have their names written on their star signs along their walk path, so we’re going to have a Star walk of fame with all of our Buddies’ names on them, and they’ll get to take their stars home with them at the end of the walk. And we’re going to encourage them to dress up like their favorite movie star or movie character, or if they want to dress up like a pirate or a princess, whatever they want to do.”

She is especially looking forward to fellow radio personality Big Ugly Dave Willis serving as DJ again, plus all of the activities that they had last year will be back. “We’re going to have professional photographer Shelley Johnson on site again, Concord University will be setting up another sensory playground with sand, bubbles, and chalk. New River Community and Technical College will be back again, Starbucks, face painting, balloon animals, fire trucks, ambulance people, and we are just going to be expanding off of that and possibly having even more stuff!”

When asked what she hopes for at this year’s event, Lola shares that she would love to see of course even more people be a part of it. “But I hope that if anything else, it becomes more of a tradition, that people put it on their calendars every year, that it’s one of those things that other people look forward to each year as much as I do.”

The Beckley Buddy Walk® takes place at New River Park in Beckley on Saturday, October 4 from 9 am to 11 am. “It’s on Adair St, near the Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum, up on the hill,” says Lola. To register or donate, visit the Beckley Buddy Walk® Stride site at www.ds-stride.org/beckleybuddywalk. To learn more about Down With That, visit their website at https://downwiththat.wordpress.com/.

Sensory Friendly Films Program 7/19

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Sensory Friendly Film showing:  7/19/14  11:00 AM

The Galleria 14 in Beckley and “Down with That” – The Down Syndrome Family Support Group of Southern West Virginia invite  families affected by Down Syndrome, Autism, and other disabilities to enjoy the film Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue in a safe and accepting environment with the “Sensory Friendly Films” program.  Saturday July, 19th  at 11:00 AM . Matinee pricing applies. Headphones and apparatus accommodations available upon request. In order to provide a more accepting and comfortable setting for this unique audience, the movie auditoriums will have their lights brought up and the sound turned down, families will be able to bring in their own gluten-free, casein-free snacks, and no previews or advertisements will be shown before the movie. Additionally, audience members are welcome to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing along- unless the safety of the audience is questioned.
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Sensory Friendly Films Program 6/14

Sensory Friendly Film showing:  6/14/14  11:00 AM

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The Galleria 14 in Beckley and “Down with That” – The Down Syndrome Family Support Group of Southern West Virginia invite  families affected by Down Syndrome, Autism, and other disabilities to enjoy the film How to Train your Dragon 2 in a safe and accepting environment with the “Sensory Friendly Films” program.  Saturday June, 14th  at 11:00 AM . Matinee pricing applies. Headphones and apparatus accommodations available upon request.

 In order to provide a more accepting and comfortable setting for this unique audience, the movie auditoriums will have their lights brought up and the sound turned down, families will be able to bring in their own gluten-free, casein-free snacks, and no previews or advertisements will be shown before the movie. Additionally, audience members are welcome to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing along- unless the safety of the audience is questioned.

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Kids Summer Movie Series, now offering a sensory showing

 

 

 

 

This year the Galleria 14 will be offering one theater at each showing of their Kids Summer Movie Series  designated as a sensory showing experience.  THANK YOU GALLERIA 14!!
This will mirror our monthly Sensory showings. for  families affected by Down Syndrome, Autism, and other disabilities to be enjoy the films in a more accepting and comfortable setting for this unique audience, The movie auditorium will have their lights brought up and the sound turned down.
If you would like to have a seat in one of these designated theaters, please make sure that request the sensory showing when you arrive at the theater. Limited seating is available.

Our Next Official Sensory Showing will be June 14th at 11AM with How to Train Your Dragon 2
Details to come. 

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Down Syndrome Awareness and Support

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