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Dress Up for Down Syndrome 5k set for Saturday

The Parthenon

Published: Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 23:09

The third annual Dress Up for Down Syndrome 5k will take place Saturday at Barboursville Park. The race begins at 10 a.m.  
The cost to participate in the race is $25. Runners are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes during the race.

All proceeds of the race will benefit the Down Syndrome Network of West Virginia Inc., a nonprofit organization devoted to enhancing the lives of individuals with Down syndrome through programs and services provided at no charge.

DSNWV provides information, resources and support to families and professionals by promoting awareness and acceptance of individuals with Down syndrome.

Brad Pelfrey, race organizer, said that last year Dress Up for Down Syndrome had 104 runners participate in the race and raised approximately $3,000. Pelfrey explained that he wants to have at least 105 runners participate in the 5k this year.

“As for how much I would like to raise for the DSNWV, I am more concerned with raising awareness than I am money,” Pelfrey said. “Any profit we have is just an added bonus.”

Pelfrey said that the Buddy Walk, sponsored by DSNWV, is Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. in Charleston at the West Virginia Capitol Complex.

The Buddy Walk, established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society, is a one-mile walk held to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October. Participants of the walk decorate signs, wagons, strollers, make buttons and wear shirts to recognize their buddy.

During the event there will be a Family Fun Area with inflatables, clowns, facing painting, crafts and dancing. All proceeds from the Buddy Walk will benefit the DSNWV.

Down syndrome is a condition in which a person is born with an extra copy of chromosome 21, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The National Down Syndrome Society states that Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome.

Pelfrey said his son, who has Down syndrome, has been a blessing to him and his wife since the day he was born.

 “Until you have a child or loved one with Down syndrome, you don’t fully understand how awesome and loving these children are,” Pelfrey said. “The DSNWV was great to give us support, resources and activities to meet other families that had children with Down syndrome.”

Katy Lewis can be contacted at

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