The Pittsburgh Buddy Walk is our community's annual "Family Reunion" and we are excited to celebrate in-person at Schenley Plaza (4100 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260) on Sunday, October 24, 2021 from 11am-3pm! As our largest fundraiser of the year, the Pittsburgh Buddy Walk provides about 75% of the needed resources for the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh to fulfill its mission. Each and every day we strive to enrich the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and to support their families with our ongoing programming and free resources. As the founding group who started the Down Syndrome Center of Western PA to provide specialized medical care for individuals of all ages with Down syndrome, we continue to financially support the Center with funds raised from this event. In 2019, we raised $214,000 and in 2020, we raised $143,000. In 2021, we want to raise $200,000! There is no better way to celebrate people with Down syndrome than taking part in our 27th Annual Pittsburgh Buddy Walk!
Seeking Adult Self-Advocates
Something new this year is an adult self-advocate poster session! This is a wonderful opportunity for adult advocates to demonstrate the many ways that they can share their unique attributes and contribute to their communities. Visit this link to learn more. Registration deadline is Wed. Oct. 20.
To learn more and choose your pick up location, click here.
Event Frequently Asked Questions
How do I create my team?
We have created a picture guide with step-by-step directions on what you need to do first, second, and so on. This guide will take you all the way to registering. If you want to add a donation with your registration, in you cart choose the "continue browsing" button which takes you back to the main page and you can click on the "donate" button.
Do you want to help plan the Buddy Walk?
Indeed! Complete this form collecting areas of interest and we will be in touch with the next planning meeting session.
I'm not sure what I need to do first. Can you help?
Of course! We have created a step-by-step guide with pictures for your reference. If you want to just register, scroll down past the team information to page 3. To view this guide, click here.
How do I find the team I want to donate toward or to have my registrations assigned?
Good news! You choose how you'd like to support and once you are at your cart, enter your contact information and scroll down. You will see the "Select Fundraiser" drop down box. It will be in alphabetical order by the Team Captain's first name. For example: "Shannon Striner (Sienna's Squad)" or "Meredith Peterson (Team Macee)." Here is a screenshot to reference.
Can I create a team and fundraise without coming to the Buddy Walk Event?
Absolutely! You can create your team, share the link with friends, and will still included in the team incentives. You can also "walk your way" and have your own fundraiser/neighborhood event. To purchase an event t-shirt, visit our Buddy Walk Store. Reach out to us at email@example.com with questions.
If I bring in a sponsor, can the total be credited to my team?
Of course! If the sponsor is mailing in their form and check, ask them to indicate your teams name on the check. Once received, we will manually enter the sponsorship to your team page. If ordering their sponsorship online, instruct them to choose your team name at check out and the sponsorship will immediately be in your team's total.
How do I see if my employer will match my personal donation?
Super easy! We have a tool that you can enter your employer's name into and follow the instructions.
Can I send a check in for a donation?
Yes. When you mail in a check, please include the name of the team the donation is for and send to: DSA of Pittsburgh, 2211 Lesnett Road, Unit 12864, Pittsburgh, PA 15241. Once received, we will manually enter the donation on your team page.
Can I donate raffle baskets?
Of course! Raffle baskets are always a favorite at the Buddy Walk and we are looking for themed baskets with a minimum value of $50, with $100+ preferred. To make arrangements for your raffle baskets, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are scholarships available to attend the Buddy Walk?
Yes indeed! Please email Meredith at email@example.com and she can register you and your family to attend. It's a family reunion!
What about lunch? What kind of food options are there?
Several Options, are you ready? At Schenley Plaza there are permanent food kiosks like Asia Tea House, Tres Amigos, and Omar's Halal Grill. While The Porch is a full service restaurant at the plaza. We also have a BBQ food truck, taco food truck, and coffee truck coming. Lastly, you are welcome to bring a lunch to enjoy. We will be passing out free snacks from Fancy Pants Popcorn and Smiley Cookies too!
Where should I park for the Buddy Walk Event?
Good news! Since the Buddy Walk is on a Sunday, all metered parking is FREE! Also to assist, we have included a map here for your reference. The giant yellow star is Schenley Plaza and the Soliders and Sailors parking garage that is circled in yellow is what we are recommending. It is a flat $5 fee for the day. There are other options to choose from and the Oakland Transportation Management Association and Pittsburgh Parking Authority maintain a complete list of parking opportunities in Oakland.
Can I bring my dog to the Buddy Walk?
Sorry, no. The rules at Schenley Plaza state "It is prohibited to walk dogs on the lawn or through the plantscaped areas.
Are there restrooms onsite?
Yes, there are permanent wheelchair accessible facilities with running water. However, to accommodate our group and to make sure there are changing stations available, we have rented family rooms and wheelchair accessible ones.
Do I need to sign up if I want to volunteer?
Yes indeed. To make it easy, we have broken the event up into shifts, so volunteers can choose one or several shifts. Timing and potential duties are outlined. When we get closer to the event, the host committee will email specific assignments and instructions. Any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What time is the actual walk?
Great question! The main activities are from 11am-1pm, then at 1p is the program, and immediately following the program (around 1:30p) the walk will begin. It will be a 1-mile loop from Schenley Plaza to Phipps/Schenley Park Visitors Center and back.
What if I missed the 9/30 deadline to register with the event T-shirt and I still want a shirt?
If there are any extras, we will have event T-shirts for sale at the merchandise table at the Buddy Walk.
Will the 2022 DSAP Community Calendar be on sale at the Buddy Walk?
Indeed that is the plan! Visit the merchandise tent to pick up your calendar for $20. Both cash or credit card options will be available.
Can I still attend the event if I didn't register in advance?
Yes, however we are encouraging attendees to register online to make it easier/quicker to get through the registration tent and join in with the awesome activities! We will take both cash and credit cards. You can also text the word registration to 412-547-9711 to get the link to register on your phone now or waiting in line at the Plaza.
How do I know where to go once I arrive?
To enter the plaza, please visit the Registration Tent, which is the beginning of the giant green lawn near the intersection of Forbes Avenue and Schlenley Drive and also just outside of the outdoor seating area at The Porch Restaurant. Here is a plaza map for reference. There you will check-in and receive your event bracelet to enter. If you already have your event bracelet, see a registration volunteer to be checked-in. You MUST HAVE an event bracelet to enter the Plaza.
Do I need to wear a mask?
We are requesting that you wear a mask. As we continue to follow local and state guidelines as well as considering our community, we appreciate your consideration. We will have masks available at the registration tent if needed.
Should I bring cash or will you accept credit cards?
We will be accepting cash AND are encouraging card and electronic payments. We will have QR codes to scan and process payments for merchandise and raffle tickets available. Scan, choose what you want, purchase, and show a volunteer to obtain items. It's that easy! 50/50 will be cash-only.
Thank you to