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Hundreds attend Bozeman Buddy Walk, raise record funds

By Lauren Maschmedt, KTVM Anchor, lmaschmedt@ktvm.com
Published On: Sep 07 2013 06:32:21 PM MDT
Buddy Walk 2013
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Hundreds of folks around the Gallatin Valley gathered at the Regional Park Saturday morning to walk for a good cause.

The annual Buddy Walk aims to raise awareness for and promote the inclusion of people with Down syndrome.

But the walk is also the main fundraiser for the organization D.R.E.A.M, which provides grants to help cover medical, educational and therapy costs for families.

NBC Montana is a proud sponsor of the Buddy Walk, and our team was there to help kick off the event.

The MSU Spirit Squad, Champ the Bobcat and members of the MSU men's and women's basketball teams led the way on the one-mile walk around Regional Park.

The event ended in a celebration with live music, food, raffle prizes and kids activities.

"It really demonstrates how inclusive Bozeman is, in that people love our kiddos and love helping them and include them in every aspect of life in this great community," said Buddy Walk Co-Chair Betsy Asserson. "It's just a way to show love and support for {the families} and also help them with all the extra expenses."

We're told teams raised $12,000 in online donations leading up to the walk. Asserson said they were still counting up how much they received in registration donations Saturday morning. Even before the final count, Asserson said it's the most money the Buddy Walk's ever raised.

This year's walk was dedicated to honor Zach Kane, a baby with Down syndrome who passed away last year.

Click here to learn more about D.R.E.A.M. and the Buddy Walk.