Wheeling for awareness, and saying “cheese” for the CVB
By Leah Rankin

Wheels Around the Park photos courtesy of Down Syndrome Parent Group of WNY.
“Wheels Around the Park”—even the name of the Down Syndrome Parent Group of WNY’s October 3 event is lighthearted. October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and to highlight its importance, the DSPGWNY is hosting this day of fun, which began with a successful opening year in 2008, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Delaware Park. (Considering WNY’s summer weather, October will likely be gorgeous; in any event, it will be held rain or shine.)

The day starts with registration from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., followed by a walk kick off from 11:30 to 11:45 a.m., featuring a proclamation from Mayor Byron Brown’s office, a group photo, and “The Star Spangled Banner.” Walk or “wheel” around Ring Road in Delaware Park from noon to 1:30 p.m.; participants can choose any type of wheels they want, from wagons to rollerblades. Last year more than 800 people joined the event, which made for a caravan of skateboards, bicycles, and strollers. Following the walk around the park is a variety of games and crafts for kids, and information booths will also be set up to provide education for families dealing with the disease. A picnic of hot dogs, chips, pop, and dessert will be provided after the walk, and door prize drawings include a bike, scooter, and wagon.

This is just one of many events the DSPGWNY holds each year. A Halloween party will be held on October 25 at St. Mary’s High School, while its annual holiday party is December 5 at Sacred Heart Academy. Call 832-9334 or visit for info.

Meanwhile, the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau’s “Say Cheese, Buffalo” photo contest invites all of WNY to enter, from the camera-wielding toddler to the budding photojournalist; as the CVB’s website states, it’s “open to ALL photographers worldwide of all ages,” so your aged cousin in Swansea can, indeed, enter. Each photo has the chance to be featured in BNCVB publications, and $100 will be awarded for the winning picture.

The contest is ongoing, with four seasonal categories for submission: Summer (July 1–September 30), Autumn (October 1–December 21), Winter (January 1–March 31, 2010), and Spring (April 1–June 30, 2010). The only suggestion provided is that photos should include people. So please, no artsy pics of a shoe.

See for contest applications, and for more details, Flickr it up at

Recent Spree editorial intern Leah Rankin is a senior at the University at Rochester.


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