The family and friends of Michael DiNezza raised about $1,500 for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Trisomy 21 Program at the recent Buddy Walk and Family Fun Day at Villanova University.
Michael, 5, of Fox Chase, has Down syndrome. He is the son of Mike and Marianne DiNezza. He has three older sisters who attend St. Cecilia Elementary School.
The DiNezza family and their friends have been participating for six years in the Buddy Walk, which takes place on the first Sunday in October. This year, they wore matching blue Team DiNezza T-shirts. In all, there were about 75 members of the team.
Their goal, according to Michael’s parents, is to promote inclusion among the Down syndrome community and bring awareness to the issue.
The walk took place in Villanova’s football stadium. Michael and the other special guests were greeted by the Phillie Phanatic, cheerleaders, Star Wars characters and members of the Villanova and Radnor High School football teams. Kids had a chance to have their faces painted.
Some 2,000 people took part in the 2-mile fun walk on the football stadium track. Staff members from the CHOP Trisomy 21 Program were among the crowd.
After the event, Team DiNezza returned to Michael’s Ferndale Street home to celebrate another successful Buddy Walk.
Michael’s friend, Patrick Keenan, entertained the crowd by playing music. Kids played in a Moonbounce. Additional money was raised by a 50-50 drawing. ••