PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– The Down Syndrome Association of the Emerald Coast is aiming to raise awareness, acceptance and promote inclusivity for those with Down Syndrome in the local community.

Those with Down Syndrome are born with an extra chromosome, and may face learning and developmental challenges throughout their life.

The organization will be hosting the Gulf Coast Buddy Walk event on Oct. 8th at Tommy Oliver Stadium located at 351 E. 13th St. in Panama City.

The event has been cancelled for the past few years due to Hurricane Michael and then the COVID-19 pandemic.

The walk will consist of a single lap around the stadium at 10 a.m. Registration and festivities kick off at 8:30 a.m.

Willis Poucher’s 17-year-old daughter, Bobby, has Down Syndrome, he said events like these are so important for the local community.

“It can be challenging to get members of the special needs community together, so this event provides that. Also it gives them the opportunity to feel included in the local community,” said Willis Poucher.

“I get to see all my friends,” said participant, Bobby Poucher.

The first 200 guests will receive a free t-shirt. There will also be music, a bounce house, food and more!

Admission is $5, and those with special needs will have free admission.

“Funds for this help to support our organization to provide more resources to support individuals with Down syndrome, their families and caregivers across the lifespan,” said Down Syndrome Association of the Emerald Coast Board Member, Bryan Joy.

The event is also looking for volunteers and will be hosting a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27th at the Dunkin Donuts in Lynn Haven, for more information on how to become involved with the event visit the organization website here.

To learn more about the walk, watch the News 13 This Morning segments.