Unite with Community Link at the Buddy Walk

August 21, 2023

Unite with Community Link at the Buddy Walk

Breese, IL- The 17th Annual Community Link Buddy Walk will be back in just a few short weeks. Teams, families, participants, staff, and friends will gather at Northside Park in Breese, IL on September 16th to begin the 1-mile walk at 11am. The theme of this year’s walk is superheroes, and the organization is looking forward to celebrating the superhero in each of us.

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 Buddy Walk raised over $125,000 to support the organizations local programs while contributing 2.5% of proceeds to NDSS for national initiatives.

Community Link has a goal to raise $125,000 again this year, to meet or beat last year’s success. This is only possible with the support of team captains, sponsors, and the generous community. Team captains use their super powers to fundraise and inspire friends and family to participate in the walk. Community Link is thankful to have a super crew of team captains who are all in with their support and creativity.

Walk participants will want to arrive early this year. Jesse James from Nashville, TN is going to play a free concert beginning at 10am. He will also be present after the walk to sign autographs and meet walk participants. The organization is excited and thankful for Jesse James Entertainment to kick off the Buddy Walk with this concert.

There are many returning aspects of the day, including the craft tent which will feature superhero mask painting and sugar cookie decorating, run by employees of UNCOMN. The Super Buddy Dog Show will also be making a return this year, with categories in Best Dressed, Most Talented, Best Personality, Waggiest Tail, and Best in Show. Community Link is looking for dog show contestants, but space is limited. If you would like to register your furry friend, please visit commlink.org/buddywalk and follow the Dog Show tab.

Food trucks and vendors are going to be making a return this year as well. Returning food vendors are Fantastick Pops and Suits Me BBQ. The Red Porch Café will be serving made to order sandwiches and seasonal food items, Excel Bottling Company will be providing soda, and Dieterich Bank will be providing water. New to the walk this year will be Taco Jo’s and Sip N Scoot Mobile Café.

The t-shirt will be a heather, royal blue color with a superhero logo to honor the hero within each walk participant. T-shirts can be picked up before the walk beginning on September 8th at AVH Ink and Vinyl in Breese, or can be picked up the day of the walk.

Yard games, crafts, and more music will all be part of the fun of the afternoon. To register, visit commlink.org/buddywalk. 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 michelled@commlink.org 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, Bradford National Bank, The Knights of Columbus – Niemeyer Agency, Poettker Construction, gold sponsors: Litteken Construction Company, DBA Custom Woodworking, Trenton Knights of Columbus Council 2932, Carlyle Knights of Columbus Council 1382, Sievers Equipment Co, Klostermann State Farm Ins, Scott Credit Union, Monken Chrysler Nissan, Clinton Manor, AVH Ink & Vinyl, Breese Optimist, FCB Banks, Cancer Sucks!, and Rehkemper & Son, silver sponsors: Highland Knights of Columbus Council 1580, Albers/Damiansville Knights of Columbus Council 9768, Kassen Excavating, Shelley Kenow IEP Consultant, First National Bank of Sandoval, Kohrmann Electric Co, Dairy King, Breese Journal and Publishing, Busey Bank, Southern Bus and Mobility, Bartelso Knight of Columbus Council 4745, ShelterLogic Group, Love You More Foundation, Dieterich Bank, Jim’s Formal Wear, and Across All Ages Physical Therapy, and numerous 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 commlink.org.