Sunday March 17th sees the launch of the fifth SL Buddy Walk in aid of Down Syndrome awareness and the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).
First held in 2008, the SL Buddy Walk has become an annual event in the SL calendar, and has up until this year been a one-day event of music and fund-raising in aid of the NDSS. However, this year see the start of something a little different.
Running through until March 31st, and marking World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st, the SL Buddy Walk will once again feature a range of live entertainment and events, together with a chance to walk the SL Buddy Walk and learn more about Down Syndrome, the work of the NDSS and raise money in support of the Society’s work.
The event kicks-off on the 17th March, with the start of a two-week fair featuring a host of SL designers and creators, hosted in a specially designed region sponsored by Surreal Estates. All donations made during the fair will go directly to the National Down Syndrome Society, as will the proceeds of sales made through the special vendors displayed by by the participating creators and designers in their stores, with many creators opting to donate the proceeds of at least some, if not all, of their sales made through their fair stores /carts to the NDSS, regardless as to whether or not the sales are made via the special vendors.
Then, on the 21st March, to mark World Down Syndrome Day itself, there will be an all-day concert which will include performances by Tom Q, Colorful Quiet, Maximillion Kleene, The Follow, Porter Paquot, Noma Falta and Edward Kyomoon. The music kicks-off at 14:00 SLT. Keep up-to-date with entertainment announcements through the SL Buddy Walk blog. Donations made to the on-stage donation boxes will again go to the NDSS at the conclusion of this year’s Buddy Walk.
In addition, visitors to the region will be able to visit informational kiosks and boards where they can understand more about Down Syndrome and the work of the NDSS. The region is beautifully landscaped, and also offers places to meet friends and sit and chat, as well the two main fair locations and the stage and walk.
The motivating power behind SL Buddy Walk is JL Zinner, who has brought together a talented team to organise and run the event in Second Life. Her dedication to the work of the NDSS and to Buddy Walk is prehaps best expressed through her inspirational video Brandon is My Firework.