Northeast Times

Buddy Walk event raises money for CHOP

  • A great cause: Family and friends of Michael DiNezza, 5, (left) of Fox Chase, took part in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Buddy Walk and Family Fun Day on Oct. 6 at Villanova University.

  • Team DiNezza celebrated afterward with a party where Patrick Keenan (right) served as DJ.

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. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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