More than 1,000 walk at 16th annual Buddy Walk

By Perry Russom

More than 1,000 walk at 16th annual Buddy Walk

September 15, 2013 Updated Sep 16, 2013 at 10:22 AM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) More than 1,000 people met at Otsiningo Park early Sunday afternoon to bring awareness to Down syndrome.

It's called the Buddy Walk and it's been held in the area for 16 years.

There were raffles, face painting and caricature drawings before the walk started.

"One of the biggest misconceptions is that it doesn't happen often or that folks with Down syndrome aren't able to be included in our community as much as we are," said Ben Myers, a Buddy Walk committee member. "When in fact, people with Down syndrome love being a part of the community and love having jobs, being part of a family."

Myers said the message he wanted to send is people with developmental disabilities are an important part of their community.

He said more then 3,000 people in the area live with a developmental disability with a number of organizations working to support them and their families.