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 22nd Annual Down Syndrome Awareness Walk, and consider joining us on September 23 for the biggest party of the year!

What Your Support Means

Do you enjoy the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin's programs and services that take place all year long? Programs like Parent's First Call, Medical Outreach, Peer Sensitivity Training, Member Grants, Roadmap Sessions, and classes like Young Leaders and Cooking with the Kiddos? Then NOW is your time to give back! The majority of these programs are fully funded by fundraising that takes place at this annual awareness walk. Thank you in advance for helping individuals with Down syndrome exceed expectations and live amazing lives!

Our Sponsors


Milwaukee County Zoo
10001 W Bluemound Rd
Milwaukee, WI 53226

The walk is held in Areas #1 & #2: Oak Grove and Maple Cove.

Tell the parking attendant that you are with the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin. When you enter the parking lot, head all the way to the left. You will see our tents!

Event Schedule


Registration & Family Festival Begins


Lunch Service Begins


21 Showcase & Awards Ceremony


Walk Begins

Registration Information

Pre-register online until 12pm CST September 21, 2018.

Registration includes day-long entry and full access to the Milwaukee County Zoo, parking, Walk, t-shirt, family festival and lunch.  

Event Cost:

Walk (ages 13+) $20
Walk (ages 3-12) $15
Walk (ages 0-2) Free
Virtual Walkers $12


Register by August 31 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 31st 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 tables will be located near the Maple Cove and Oak Grove picnic areas. Registration will open at 10:00am. 

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.

Team Captains may pick up all team t-shirts early on Thursday, September 20 between 5pm-8pm, or, Friday, September 21, from 9am-3pm. You can also pick shirts up on walk day.

DSAW is located inside Holy Trinity Lutheran Church: 11709 W Cleveland Ave, Suite 2, West Allis, WI 53227





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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!

Back by popular demand, this year we will again 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! Then, post photos of your walk/run on DSAW’s Facebook Page! Virtual walker registration includes a walk shirt, which we will mail to you (USA only). Register by Friday, August 31st to receive your t-shirt by September 23. Whether you’ve moved away from Wisconsin, will be on vacation, or want to support your loved one who lives in Wisconsin, our community extends far beyond our state’s borders. 

Family Festival

Join us for the BIGGEST and most FUN Down Syndrome Awareness Walk in Wisconsin. Wear your masks, tutus, and crazy costumes to our Mardi Gras-themed party! Event will include music, carnival games, statewide resource booths, THE “21” SHOWCASE (ALL ages welcome to walk the red carpet), Chromosome Wall of Fame featuring YOUR loved one, personalized team posters and t-shirts, amazing prizes, and MORE! Don’t forget to join us for lunch, served all day.


22nd Annual Statewide Down Syndrome Awareness Walk

The "21" Showcase & Awards Ceremony

Help us kick off the walk at 12:30pm with the Down Syndrome Awareness Walk Master of Ceremonies, Vince Vitrano, Today’s TMJ4 Morning News Anchor. We will host our "21" Showcase where individuals with Down syndrome of ALL ages will get a chance to walk the red carpet in front of their family and friends. 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! 

22nd Annual Statewide Down Syndrome Awareness Walk

The 22nd Annual Statewide Down Syndrome Awareness Walk will be held rain or shine at 1:00pm. This is a leisurely stroll through the Milwaukee County Zoo. Rollerblades, skates, and pets are strictly prohibited. After the walk begins, feel free to explore the Milwaukee County Zoo using your included all-day access pass! 

*Please note that due to construction at the Zoo, we will not be hosting the 5K Run, Roll, and Stroll this year.


Sign up for the "21" Showcase!

We want YOUR loved one with Down syndrome to be featured in this year's "21" Showcase! Individuals with Down syndrome of ALL ages are invited to walk the red carpet 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!

In 2017, Your Donations Changed Lives:

  • 55 New Parent Welcome Baskets and Expectant Parent Packets, plus countless others supported through online resources
  • 494 Medical Referral Packets sent to medical professionals, helping ensure everyone receives a fair, compassionate diagnosis
  • More than 50 Support Parents trained to help support new and expectant parents after a diagnosis
  • 250 one-on-one Roadmap Sessions to help families overcome obstacles and achieve dreams
  • 118 social and fraternal events hosted for families
  • A large menu of recurring programming headquartered at the DSAW office in West Allis and replicated throughout the state, serving individuals of all ages!
    • Programs include Young Leaders Academy, Young Leaders Bootcamp, Motor Skills Playgroup, Fraternal Support Groups, Cooking Classes, Tween/Teen/Adult Clubs, Tech Skills Class, Family Movie Nights, Family Activity Days, and Family Zumba Class.
  • Grew DSAW-Family Services client base more than 300% to provide customized direct services to individuals with Down syndrome who want to live amazing lives in the community
  • Won 14 national awards in the last two years for our work in Wisconsin
  • And MORE!

Thank you for helping to change lives with your gift!

Top Fundraising Prizes

The cut-off for donations that qualify for the Top Five Fundraising Prizes is 11:59PM on Saturday, September 22. All cash and check donations must arrive at the DSAW office by noon on Friday, September 21 to qualify.

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 the DSAW Billboard before the 2019 Awareness Walk! (Past winners from the last two years are NOT eligible to win this prize)






There are chances to win for everyone!

EARLY-BIRD SPECIAL: All teams who register by July 1st 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 31)

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 25th 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!

Teams that raise more than $5,000 will be invited to a complimentary photoshoot for their loved ones. Photos will be displayed in a special year-long gallary wall at the DSAW Office.

Teams that raise more than $10,000 will have their loved one's photo featured in the 2019 Zoo Walk mailer. The winning team will have their loved one on the cover of the mailer, and on the Zoo Walk poster!

**NOTE: Abby's Troopers and DSAW Leaders are NOT in the running for any prizes.


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Who We Are

There are more than 8,000 people in Wisconsin with Down syndrome. Over the course of the year, DSAW touches the lives of more than 4,500 of these individuals and their families through the provision of services, education, resources, and support. DSAW is able to make a difference in thousands of lives because of the incredible support of our community. We are a 28-year-old volunteer driven organization -- we have more than 800 volunteers across the state!! It is their energy and passion that fuels our mission forward. Our largest presence is right here in Southeastern Wisconsin, where we have been headquartered and operating for the last quarter-century.

Why We Walk

Our Down Syndrome Awareness walks, which occur across the State of Wisconsin each year, draw more than 7,000 walkers, volunteers, donors, sponsors, and partners across the State under one collective mission -- to raise awareness and promote inclusion, diversity, and acceptance of people with Down syndrome and other special needs in our communities and in our lives. At DSAW we strive to guarantee access to a full life for all through education, information, programs, services, and the exchange of ideas and experiences. For the past 22 years, the Annual Awareness Walks have been the key fundraising mechanism that allow us to enter and serve communities across the state to help individuals and families with special needs prove they are stronger than the obstacles they face. Your support strengthens our programs, and our resolve.

We walk to tell their stories. That our children are remarkably gifted, talented and beautiful creations. We walk because, our sons and daughters battle every day for the same liberties that are so often taken for granted by our society. We walk to create new programs and services in under-served communities. We walk to tell our stories to the world. DSAW is 100% funded by private individuals and concerned corporate citizens and foundations who believe just as we do that with appropriate investment and just the right amount of supports, our loved ones can accomplish amazing things!