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2008.10.02 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Relations
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@unomaha.edu

Buddy Walk Partners With UNO on Oct. 4

Omaha - The Counsel for Exceptional Children and the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSHLA) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) has partnered with the Omaha Down Syndrome Parent Network for its Seventh annual Buddy Walk. UNO students will participate in the walk to raise awareness and acceptance for individuals with Down syndrome on Saturday, Oct. 4.

The Omaha Down Syndrome Parents Network (ODSPN) is sponsoring a fun-filled morning of activities to promote understanding and inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome. The walk is part of a national effort that occurs annually in October.

More than 2,000 people will begin a one mile walk at 9:30 a.m. on the Caniglia Stadium track at UNO. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. or prior to the event at www.odspn.org. The registration cost of $10 for adults and $5 for children includes a Buddy Walk t-shirt and the chance to win one of many raffle prizes. Honorary chair and former Husker Rob Zatechka will help kick off the event and music will provided by Radio Disney. Participants will enjoy bouncy houses, face painting, clowns, balloons and a continental breakfast.

In 2007, the walk raised $100,000 which was used to fund seminars and activities for families, educators and medical professionals. The donations also promote ODSPN’s partnership with 15 area school districts and provide new parent packets to those who are new to the Omaha area or received a new diagnosis. Additionally, monies support national research, scholarships and the lending library.

Down syndrome is one of the most common causes of birth defects and developmental disabilities. It occurs in 1 in every 733 births and causes delays in physical and cognitive development. People with the condition are born with an extra chromosome, 47 rather than 46.

ODSPN is a non-profit organization that serves more than 275 families of children and adults with Down syndrome in the Omaha metro area. Five families started the organization in 1999 to connect with and to support each other. For more information call Teri Schulte, Buddy Walk chair, at (402) 320-0241 or email teri0314@msn.com.

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UNO will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning October 8, 2008. This celebration will recognize the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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