The Buddy Walk was developed in 1995 to promote awareness and inclusion for people with Down syndrome and to raise money for research and education programs. The Buddy Walk Program has expanded from 17 walks the first year to more than 250 last year. Today, the Buddy Walk Program is supported nationally by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and locally organized and hosted by SANDS.
The Tucson Buddy Walk is the primary fundraiser and awareness-building event for the Southern Arizona Network for Down Syndrome (SANDS). The Tucson Buddy Walk is an extended family picnic for the entire community that features exhibits, food, entertainment, a raffle and silent auction. Although the Tucson Buddy Walk is less than one mile, it is the largest walk of its kind in Southern Arizona and anyone can participate without special training.