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PAWTUCKET â€” There are more than 250 million people worldwide that suffer from IDD, or intellectual and developmental disabilities. About 7.5 million of those people alone live in the United States. Best Buddies Rhode Island is an organization that revolves around making the lives of people with IDD easier. The Best Buddies program of Rhode Island is hosting a â€śFriendship Walkâ€ť that will take place in Slater Park on Sunday, May 4.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. while the walk will commence at 9 a.m.
Participants can also register online ahead of Sundayâ€™s event. The public is welcome to take part in the walk. There will be three routes during the Friendship Walk. There will be a 1-mile walking route, a 2-mile walking route, and a newly-implemented bicycle route. The walk itself is an event meant to increase funding and awareness for Best Buddies Rhode Island â€” one of the many Best Buddies programs in the United States. The Friendship Walk is actually the most recent and successful program established by Best Buddies and has brought in well over $3 million since its inception in 2009. According to the Best Buddies website proceeds from the walkfund state programs which provide one-to-one friendships, leadership development and integrated job opportunities for individuals with IDD. These programs can be found in all 50 states.
More than 40,000 people have participated in the Friendship Walk in past yearsâ€”now more than 300 are participating in the walk on May 4 including students from area schools in Lincoln, Woonsocket and Providence that have Best Buddies Clubs. For more information on the walk or to register visit the Best Buddies website at: bestbuddiesrhodeisland.org.
Julian Borges is a student at St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket and an intern for The Times and The Call.