NZ athletes participate in Buddy Walk

Posted 10/15/19

A number of North Zulch ISD athletes, school personnel and supporters attended the 16th Annual Down Syndrome Association of Brazos Valley (DSABV) Buddy Walk at Millican Reserve park, south of College Station, on Oct. 6 and raised over $400 for the organization.

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NZ athletes participate in Buddy Walk

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A number of North Zulch ISD athletes, school personnel and supporters attended the 16th Annual Down Syndrome Association of Brazos Valley (DSABV) Buddy Walk at Millican Reserve park, south of College Station, on Oct. 6 and raised over $400 for the organization.

“We have been stressing service with our athletes,” said NZISD teacher and coach Jim O’Neal, who coordinated the effort. “There is a lot more out there for them to see and be a part of other than just the athletic side of it. It was a neat thing to get to see how much of an impact you can make.”

North Zulch has sent teams to the Buddy Walk in the past, but decided to help out with the volunteering side this year as the interest in the event grew. Over 20 high school and junior high student-athletes volunteered their Sundays to assist with picking up trash around the event. They also made signs to encourage the participants.

North Zulch also had a team in the event this year, which was aptly named the ‘Bulldogs’ and generated the funds for the DSABV.

O’Neal, who has a daughter with Downs Syndrome, spoke on the event’s personal significance to him.

“These kids treat my daughter and the kids with special needs here unbelievably great,” said O’Neal. “That is one of the things I love about our school. They include them in everything and all of our kids look after them.”

Part of the reason O’Neal was so pleased with the heightened attendance at the event this year was that the school had an opportunity to display their kindness and willingness to help on a greater stage.

“When I was talking to the kids about it, I said I wanted to show the outside world how great they are,” said O’Neal. “We know we have great kids here, so we wanted to take some more out and show that to everyone.”

Last year’s North Zulch team raised over $100 in the Buddy Walk. They are planning to participate in the event next year and have aspirations for it to grow in further years to come.

For volunteer opportunities with the Down Syndrome Association of Brazos Valley or for more information, visit www.dsabv.org.

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