The Arc of Erie County is holding its annual “Buddy Walk,” celebrating children and adults with disabilities as well as their families.

Fontaine Glenn spoke with one family who looks forward to the event each year.

This is Matthew and his mom, Kim. Each year they look forward to the “Buddy Walk.”

“Any event that there is in the community, he likes to be busy, he loves to see his friends. So the ‘Buddy Walk’ as well as a lot of other walks or events that we have gone to, that’s where he can see his friends, socialize, get out in the community,” said Kim Serafin, Matthew’s mother.

This year, The Arc of Erie County is moving the event to the Erie Sports Center. The walk will be a little more than one mile around the center’s soccer fields. After the participants are done walking, they will join travel team members to take part in a baseball and soccer clinic. 

“A kid who has down syndrome or kid who is disabled that hasn’t been introduced to sport before is not going to have an opportunity to come up here in a world class environment, with good coaches, with all the right equipment to take part in a clinic,” said Troy Bingham, owner, Erie Sports Center.

With help from The Arc, Kim is able to make connections with other families in the community, helping with her emotional well being while she and her family navigate Matthew’s diagnosis.

“Having support and people who understand. Other families can relate to you, they’ve been through the same thing. Find families that have older children. When he was young that was huge to find families who have already gone through whatever it was that we were going through that I could ask them for advice,” said Kim.