Not long ago, St. Petersburg resident Scott Cash was on a trip. As he strolled with his family on the grounds of St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, one of his favorite places to spend time, his mom Sally snapped a photo.
“I can’t look at that photo without smiling,” Sally says, “so I thought it was a good one!”
It was such a good one, in fact, that Sally submitted it – as she has with several others of Scott over the years – to the National Down Syndrome Society for potential inclusion in Times Square Video Presentation opening the NDSS New York City Buddy Walk.
For the fourth time, Scott’s photo was selected and will be included in the slideshow that kicks off the event on September 12.
According to its website, the NDSS receives over 2,000 photo submissions for the Times Square Video contest – snapshots that highlight children, teens and adults with Down syndrome working, playing and learning alongside friends and family.
Sally says they choose only about 500, so being picked four times makes Scott something of a celebrity.
“One year we submitted a photo of him working out in a gym,” says Sally, “One year with his bowling ball, and one year with a fish he caught.”
On being featured in the slideshow, Sally says that for Scott and the whole family, “It’s pretty special!”
One year, she said, “We actually went to New York to walk in the Buddy Walk and see the video live. Times Square was full of people who stopped to watch it.”
The National Buddy Walk Foundation, established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness, makes promoting acceptance and inclusion its primary directive.
“The NDSS likes to capture photos of people with Down Syndrome doing normal activities,” says Sally, “to show how much they are like others who don’t have Downs.”
While they’ve participated in Buddy Walks locally before, this year will most likely be a solo event for Scott and his family. He and Sally walk every day, at various locations, so they’ll make one upcoming daily excursion extra special in honor of Scott’s achievement.
“We have ordered Buddy Walk t-shirts and will walk locally,” Sally says, “probably in downtown St. Pete on the waterfront.”