Community Link’s Buddy Walk Ranks #11 in Nation

April 15, 2019

Breese, IL— Last year, nearly 1,800 5k runners and walkers participated in Community Link’s Buddy Walk and they’re anticipating a larger crowd this year. “We raised more than $180,000 last year ranking us number one in Illinois and 11th in the nation for money raised. That’s simply amazing. We wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of our community,” stated Barb Nelson, interim executive director at Community Link.

This one-mile walk for Down syndrome awareness was developed by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) in 1995. The Buddy Walk has grown from 17 walks in 1995 to more than 225 walks in 2018.

On Saturday, May 4, 2019 at Breese Northside Park, Community Link will host its 13th Annual Buddy Walk from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. The theme for this year’s Buddy Walk is “May the Fourth Be With You!”

In addition to the 1-mile walk and 5k run, the day will include craft/vendor marketplace, food trucks, Star Wars characters, beer and margarita stands, Disney raffle, live music by Bangolicious, bouncy houses, corn box and face painting. (see attached scheduled of events)

The registration fee for the walk is $15.00 which includes a t-shirt; the 5K is $25.00 which also includes a Buddy Walk t-shirt (there is no additional cost to walk). Registrations will be accepted up to and including the day of the event with t-shirts available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please go to to register online or to download a registration form.

Community Link appreciates its presenting sponsors Cancer Sucks! (in loving memory of Dawn Schomaker), HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, Poettker Construction Company and The Republic of Tea, its gold sponsors Albers Elementary School District 63, Breese Optimist Club, Clinton Manor, Country Financial (Keith & Julie Wilken), Excel Bottling Company and Knights of Columbus Niemeyer Agency, as well as its numerous silver and bronze sponsors.

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 challenge, teach and inspire both participants and community, linking them in ways that enhance their lives. For more information, please visit our website at

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