SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Capital Region Buddy Walk returned to its full capacity Sunday morning as people from across the region came out to support people with Down Syndrome and their families. For the past two years, the walk was a socially-distanced car parade but Sat. morning it returned to the one-mile in-person in Schenectady’s Central Park.

The walk raises awareness and celebrates the accomplishments of those with Down Syndrome, and their families, like Janine Lampo and her 15-month-old son Mason. “My son Mason was born with Down Syndrome, he’s now 15 months old and the absolute light of my life, we always say Mason moves Mountains because he’s taken on every challenge that he’s ever been faced with,” Lampo said.

Funds raised from the Buddy Walk support educational programs, social activities, and health resources through the Down Syndrome Aim High Resource Center at the Center for Disability Services.

“When you have a child with Down Syndrome, they may learn a little bit differently so our modified curriculum materials assist not only the students and the family, but it also assists the teacher when they’re educating children with down syndrome,” said Anne Schneider Costigan, spokesperson for the Center for Disability Services. That type of support means everything to families like Lampo’s, who find a new welcoming community.

“It’s a different world and we are working so hard to increase education, increase inclusion for our loved ones,” Lampo said. “An event like this really shines light on this and our families are able to be immersed in this community and meet other families and other typical children and children with down syndrome and adults are down syndrome so they’re able to understand what life is like.”