The Buddy Walk is Just Around the Corner

September 23, 2022

The 16th Annual Community Link Buddy Walk is just around the corner. Teams, families, participants, staff, and friends will gather at Northside Park in Breese, IL on October 8 to begin the 1-mile walk at 11am. Following the walk will be an afternoon full of activities to celebrate Community Link’s 50th anniversary.

The Buddy Walk was established by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) in 1995 to raise awareness and support programs for those with Down syndrome. Last year the Community Link walk proudly ranked #1 in Illinois and #12 in the nation to support local programs while contributing 2.5% of proceeds to NDSS for national initiatives.

This year Community Link has a goal to raise $175,000 with the support of team captains, sponsors, and the generous community. Team captains are crucial to the success of the event as they fundraise and inspire friends and family to participate in the walk. Community Link is grateful for their creativity and efforts.

The joys and successes of the first 50 years of Community Link will be recognized in many different ways. The smiling faces of David and Mike can be seen on all Buddy Walk communications this year. They have been with the organization since day one in 1972 and are shining examples of Community Link’s mission and values. They are loved by all.

The t-shirt will be a bright gold with a bold 50th anniversary logo. A special 50th anniversary registration is offered which includes a photo book and goodie bag. Following the walk, a ceremony will be held to honor a few individuals that have been instrumental in the growth and success of the organization over the years.

A beautiful Buddy Walk quilt has been donated for raffle by Barb Nelson, Joan Toeben and Kathleen Barkman. One lucky winner will go home with the one-of-a-kind quilt made from Buddy Walk t-shirts.

For the first time this year, the afternoon will feature the Best Buddy dog show. Any friendly pooch (or pet) is welcome to join in the fun. The judges will be participants of Community Link programs and prizes will be awarded. Visit to register your dog. Contact Michelle Delfel at Community Link to inquire about sponsorship opportunities.

Food trucks, games, crafts, and music will all be part of the fun of the afternoon. To register, visit If you cannot attend, but wish to support, donations may also be made on the website. For any questions about the walk, sponsorship opportunities, auction or raffle item donations, please contact Michelle Delfel at or 618-526-3989.

Community Link is especially grateful to the many sponsors who have made the walk possible over the years including presenting sponsors: HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, Breese Knights of Columbus Council 2869, Poettker Construction, Bradford National Bank, The Knights of Columbus – Niemeyer Agency, gold sponsors: Trenton Knights of Columbus Council 2932, Clinton Manor Living Center, Excel Bottling Company, AVH Ink & Vinyl, First National Bank of Sandoval, and numerous silver and bronze sponsors. They also appreciate the many local business who donate goods and services to make the day a great celebration.

Community Link, a non-profit organization and proud United Way member agency, is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities through a person-centered approach that promotes self-directed living choices and community integration opportunities. The mission of Community Link is to offer opportunities for growth and independence for people with developmental disabilities. For more information, please visit their website at