“Jonah and the Whalers” at the 2014 Cincinnati Buddy Walk

 On Saturday, Sept 6th of 2014, Cincinnati’s thirteenth annual Buddy Walk took place. Many dedicated and caring people gathered to make a precious moment in history. They came “together for Down syndrome” (Down Syndrome Association, 2014, p.1).

“The buddy walk is a national effort to raise money and awareness…Cincinnati’s has been the most successful.” explained Julie Bergantino, who is both my sister and a mother of a happy boy named Jonah who was born with Down syndrome.


Pictured is Julie, Jonah, and her husband Matt.

The walk took place at Sawyer Point, and along the mile-long route, “there were all sorts of organizations there who helped support… there were cheerleading squads cheering the walkers on, Disney princesses, complimentary snow cones and other food” (Bergantino, 2014). The event truly revolves around the participants. It isn’t a propaganda scheme with some alternative agenda… It’s a sincere effort to benefit those with Down syndrome as well as the families.

            If you visit the official Cincinnati Down Syndrome Association Buddy Walk Facebook page, you can see their mission statement that reads: “To empower individuals, educate families, enhance communities and together, celebrate the extraordinary lives of people with Down syndrome” (Down Syndrome Association, 2014, p.1)

“What’s cool is seeing how people celebrate their own teams. We designed our own t-shirts that said ‘Jonah and the Whalers’”


Pictured is “Jonah and the Whalers” at the 2014 Cincinnati Buddy Walk.

This picture includes many of my own family members and friends.

“There was a band playing, dancing, a bouncy house, face painting… its amazing to see so many people come together and celebrate the lives of so many extraordinary people” (Bergantino, 2014).

By: Katya Seitz



Bergantino, J. (2014, September 10). [Personal interview by the author].

Cincinnati Buddy Walk 2014. (n.d.). Retrieved September 9, 2014, from Down Syndrome Assiciation website:http://dsagc.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=587

DSAGC. (n.d.). Retrieved September 9, 2014, from Facebook website: https://www.facebook.com/DSAGC

2 thoughts on ““Jonah and the Whalers” at the 2014 Cincinnati Buddy Walk

  1. I have friends back in Cincinnati who participate in the Buddy Walk every year. By allowing people to form their own teams, the walk creates a more personalized experience for people. Participants get excited to share their support, and take to posting about it on social media. As a result, the event receives lots of buzz, in turn raising awareness.


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