Thank you for visiting our event page. Whether you have a loved one with Down syndrome, are a caring community member, or are a business looking to partner, we're glad you're here! Scroll through this page to learn more about the 17th Annual Down Syndrome Awareness Walk, and consider joining us on September 16 for our homecoming-themed party!

Exciting Changes for MADSS Ahead!

The Madison Area Down Syndrome Society is entering into an exciting period of change and growth, and we hope you will join us for the ride! From new programs, services, and events, to extending our reach throughout Dane and surrounding counties, to listening to YOU and your needs -- MADSS is ready to support your family.

Whether you’re a new member, a loyal walker, or a past attendee, we hope your join us for this year's walk, and help us launch the future of MADSS!

Our Sponsors


Olin Park Pavilion
1156 Olin-Turville Ct
Madison, WI 53715

Event Schedule


Registration & Family Festival Begins. Lunch Service Begins.


Welcome Program and Walk Rally


Down Syndrome Awareness Walk


Raffle winners posted
*Must be present to win*

2:00pm See you next year!

Registration Information

Pre-register online until 12pm CST September 14, 2018.

Registration includes walk, t-shirt, family festival and lunch.  

Event Cost:

Walk (ages 3+) $15
Walk (ages 0-2) Free
Individuals with Down syndrome Free
Virtual Walkers $10


Register by August 24 at 11:59pm to be guaranteed a t-shirt on walk day. 

All participants will receive a t-shirt, however, we try to order EXACT numbers so that no t-shirts are wasted. We may have a limited quantity of extra t-shirts available on walk day for those who register after August 24th or on walk day, but this is not guaranteed. If you do not receive a t-shirt on walk day, we will order you one after the walk!

While registration can be completed on site the day of the event, pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Registration will open at 11:00am. 

T-shirt tables will be located near registration. Please designate ONE PERSON ONLY from your group or team to check in at registration, turn in all money, and pick up t-shirts.





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Take Part in this Year's Event

1. Register Today!

2. Create a Team: Create a team of co-workers, friends, and family members. Register online to create a personalized fundraising page with your story and photos, making it easy to grow your team and fundraise. Register as a virtual walker or launch your virtual team if you can't join us in person, and commit to run or walk in honor of your loved one with Down syndrome. If you don't want to create your own team, you can join an existing one!

3. Raise Funds: Set individual and team goals! Use the easy online fundraising tools to spread the word, or gather donations offline at family parties, work functions, or kids' sporting events. The Top 5 Fundraising Teams will receive prizes at the walk!

4. Celebrate! Enjoy the day and celebrate the opportunities you have created for individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

Launch a Virtual Team!

NEW this year, we will offer the option to register as a “virtual” walker. When you sign up for this option, you commit to run or walk in honor of your loved one with Down syndrome.

Your activity can be any distance you want: 3.21 miles or laps around your block, 321 yards or 21 miles. Get creative and have fun! Virtual walker registration includes a walk shirt, which we will mail to you (USA only). Register by Friday, August 24th to receive your t-shirt by September 16. 

Family Festival

This year’s walk will be a special homecoming theme, celebrating a new era for the Madison Area Down Syndrome Society. The walk will feature a NEW location at beautiful Olin Park along the lake front, and an all NEW Family Festival including exciting event components for all ages: awesome music, inflatables, obstacle course, carnival games, face painting and tattoos, balloon animals, photo booth, activities and crafts, t-shirts, raffles, top fundraising prizes, and MORE! Don’t forget to join us for lunch, served all day.


17th Annual Down Syndrome Awareness Walk

Special Showcase & Awards Ceremony

Help us kick off the walk at 1:00pm with the Down Syndrome Awareness Walk Master of Ceremonies, Leigh Mills, evening news anchor at NBC15 news. NEW this year, we will host a showcase for individuals with Down syndrome of ALL ages. Participants will be featured in front of family and friends, while a few sentences about them are read. 

We will then announce the winners of our pre-event and day-of raffles, and we will award prizes to our Top 5 Fundraising Teams! 

17th Annual Down Syndrome Awareness Walk

The 17th Annual Down Syndrome Awareness Walk will be held rain or shine at 1:30pm. This is a one-mile walk through beautiful Olin Park. Rollerblades, skates, and pets are strictly prohibited. 


Sign up for the Showcase!

We want YOUR loved one with Down syndrome to be featured in this year's Showcase! Individuals with Down syndrome of ALL ages are invited to walk in front of their family and friends and be recognized for their individual gifts and talents. Children who are not yet able to walk on their own may walk the red carpet with a parent, caregiver, or sibling - the more, the merrier!

Click here to sign up!

Top Fundraising Prizes

The cut-off for donations that qualify for the Top Five Fundraising Prizes is 11:59PM on Saturday, September 15. All cash and check donations must arrive at the MADSS mailbox by noon on Thursday, September 13 to qualify. Or, to schedule a time to drop off donations, email buddywalk@madss.org.

We have fantastic prizes for our top five teams! As a special thank you, the First Place Team will have their child's picture on a MADSS Billboard before the 2019 Awareness Walk! 

In addition to Top Five Fundraising prizes, there are chances to win for everyone!

EARLY-BIRD SPECIAL: All teams who register by July 31st will have a chance to win their team name on their team shirts*! Each person who registers increases your chances. (*NOTE: team name will only be placed on individuals' shirts who register by t-shirt deadline of August 24)

All teams that register online will be entered into a special raffle.

We will have three raffles for team size: over 25 team members, over 50 team members, and over 100 team members! The more people sign up, the more raffles you will be entered in!

All teams who raise more than $750 will be entered into a special raffle.

Teams that raise more than $1,000 by August 16th will be entered in a special raffle.

Every team that raises more than $1,000 by walk day will be entered into a drawing for a super raffle mystery prize!!

Teams that raise more than $2,500 will be entered into a SPECIAL drawing for a chance to have their loved one on a second billboard!


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The mission of the Madison Area Down Syndrome Society, Inc. is to provide support to individuals with Down syndrome and their families while advancing awareness, respect and opportunity.​

We value: RESPECT for the inherent value of every individual; the JOY of community; OPPORTUNITY for all to achieve their dreams; the ABILITY of everyone to have a positive impact; and, the INTEGRITY of our relationships.

MADSS Programs & Services

This family grant program supports individuals with Down syndrome in accessing resources to attain physical and mental wellness, developing life skills, participating in vocational or mentorship opportunities and addressing community inclusion.  The application can be downloaded below.

We regularly offer free seminars on various topics meant to address concerns in our community. Previous topics include: IEP seminars, Special Needs Trusts, Toileting, Positive Behavior Strategies. If you have any suggestions for future topics please email info@madss.org.

This is a one day free conference held at the Waisman Center Auditorium to learn'life course' information about Down syndrome from experienced doctors, medical professionals, self-advocates, and family members. An open panel discussion with the experts is held at the end of the conference for attendees to ask questions, voice concerns, and to share experiences.

Know as Sibshops, this group focuses on siblings of individuals with Down syndrome. Sibshops focus on the power of play, but also incorporation learning and discussion. Sibshops acknowledge that being the brother or sister of someone with special needs is for some a good thing, for others a not-so good thing and many a something in between.

This group provides social events that encourage building of relationships with peers with Down syndrome, a peer-base support base for teens, and an environment where teens can have the time and support needed to work on communication skills with peers.

On the 5th day of each month, the MADSS moms get together to connect, share resources and have a good time!  Days of the week and time of day vary so we can accommodate everyone's schedule. Activities throughout the year have included getting together for dinner, meeting with a speaker, gathering for ice cream and some crafting.

MADSS sponsors this local chapter of DADS (Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome), a national group based in Indiana. The group plans outings and family activities. 

Family events are hosted throughout the year and include things like pizza parties, movie nights, summer picnics, bowling, mini-golf and other events that enable families to connect. 

The all ages Playgroup is designed for parents, children with Down syndrome and their siblings. The Playgroup encourages social interaction between children and parents share support and information about local resources.