First Buddy Walk on Long Island, 2007
The first Buddy Walk took place under heavy rain, yet 640 people attended.
Here are some of the teams that made history on October 27, 2007.
Alexandra Mary Belletti was born on October 17, 2006 along with her twin Samantha Maria. The news that Allie was born with Down Syndrome came as a shock to everyone. Everyone had to learn about Down Syndrome and how to care for a child with special needs. People usually have a stereotypical picture of Down syndrome, but you need to remember that: they will always be your child, you are not giving birth to a "Down syndrome" baby. There is much beauty in Down syndrome. Down syndrome will not define your child's entire existence. Family members have an important role in encouraging a person with Down syndrome to show what they are capable of.
Since the inception of the Long Island Buddy Walk in 2007, the entire family including aunts, uncles, cousins and friends attended to show support for Allie and all that she is doing and will strive to do. Back in October 2007 we did not know what to expect on that cold, rainy wet day. Many family members and friends showed up despite the rain. The Buddy Walk has given us another family to support us, guide us, make us feel that we are not alone. It is great to have been a part of this organization since the beginning. Fifteen years later and we are still here supporting Allie and everyone else living with Down Syndrome.
Thank you Alexander’s Angels and the L.I. Buddy Walk for giving us this outlet. Our hope for Allie's future, for her to enjoy life in her own way, and for her ability to achieve whatever she sets her mind to. To love and be loved for the amazing person she is.
Francesca Grace Sottile
Francesca was born on March 8, 2006. She lives in Port Washington, New York with her parents Barbara and Joseph, her big brother Antonio, her little sister Gabriella and her cat Madeleine. Francesca just started High School. She is so excited for school, being with her friends and teachers, and learning new things. Francesca is more than capable, she is extraordinary. Francesca loves to sing, dance and play on her iPad. Francesca loves watching cooking shows. Francesca loves looking at pictures, cook books and flash cards. HedBanz is one of her favorite games to play. Francesca is a beautiful, smart, inquisitive, funny and loving girl. All of Francesca’s family and friends are truly blessed to have her in their lives.
Francesca’s Dreams joined the very first Alexander’s Angels Buddy Walk
Francesca's 15th Birthday!
the sky's the limit
This is Skylar. She’s 16 years old and has been participating in the Long Island Buddy walk for 15 years, beginning with the very first Long Island Buddy Walk! Skylar is passionate about traveling and shows. She enjoys music, singing, amusement park rides, school, and chocolate ice cream! She enjoys spending time with her closest friends and FaceTiming with family. Skylar has a great sense of humor. We are excited to see what the future holds for her!
Alexander attends the Farmington Valley Transition Academy which is located at the University of Hartford, in West Hartford, Connecticut. He turned 20 years old this year and will graduate UHart in 2023. Alex spends four days a week job training at work sites and one day spent out in the community. He loves school, working out, spending time with friends and his family. Go Alex!!!
The family and friends of Alexander founded Alexander's Angels, Inc. in 2007.
THe "J" team
2008 - Jamie and Carly
Jamie Bernstein with sister Carly
Jamie is the Co-VicePresident & Founding Secretary of Alexander’s Angels Youth/Self-Advocate group. She will be officially graduating Commack High School in 2022. Jamie loves to dance and hang out with her sister and friends. Jamie has also participated in the Special Olympics.