Episode #12: Chip Gerhardt and the Buddy Walk

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness month and we kick it off with a bang.  We are very pleased to welcome Chip Gerhardt, Chairman of the Board of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) to the show.  Chip is a down right awesome dad of three.  His daughter, Anne, is a freshman in high school and has Down syndrome.

Chip and Anne

Not only is October DS Awareness month, it is also the heart of Buddy Walk season!  Chip is a Buddy Walk veteran and leader of Cincinnati’s super team “Annie’s Army”.  He gives us some history and facts about the Buddy Walk, offers up some suggestions for “donor fatigue” and ways to make your team have an even bigger impact – invite your local politicians.  He also gives us some information on what the funds raised during the Buddy Walk are used for.

Before we hit the Buddy Walk topic, Chip tells us his story of getting involved locally and how that grew into his appointment to the Board of Directors of the NDSS.  Always the advocate, Chip goes into his full pitch pulling for the ABLE Act before we bring it back around to the topic at hand.  Since I feel bad that we curtailed Chip when he was on a roll, the ABLE Act is totally awesome and you should contact your members of congress and have them co-sponsor it.

Rick from Down Syndrome Daily takes time out of his busy schedule and provides us with his great story of the week.  Congratulations to Rick, Amy and Kayla on welcoming little Logan to their family!

Our closing song is none other than Whoopin’ Blues by the very awesome Euphoria Brass Band.  Last year, we came up with this wild idea of shaking things up a bit by turning our Buddy Walk into a New Orleans style Second Line.  After a bit of Googling and without knowing anyone in the band, I cold-emailed EBB to see if they would be interested in leading our team.  Almost immediately, they responded with a resounding “Heck Yeah!”  We are so excited that they will be leading us again this year.  Buy their album, “like” them on Facebook and do whatever you can to make these amazing people successful – they deserve it.

Please consider donating to Dexter’s Buddy Walk team, Team Down Right Awesome or to Luke’s Step UP for Down Syndrome team, Luke’s Looney Tunes.

Download Down Syndrome Radio, Episode #12.
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