We were absolutely thrilled to return to Lake Eola this year for our second opportunity to join Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida at their annual Step Up for Down Syndrome Buddy Walk hosted at Lake Eola. October 22nd was one of the first beautiful fall mornings that us Floridians are grateful for after a long hot summer, and as the Guardians crew assembled on either side of the starting line, we were anxious to get the walk started and make some memories with some wonderful children.
On October 22nd the Sarasota Squad members of Guardians of Justice had the opportunity to attend the Manasota BUDS walk at Hunsaders Farm for the first time. Our organization was happy to being a relationship with this group as we have spent two years participating in events with the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida.
The Manasota BUDS (Bringing Up Down Syndrome) organization, provides families with a neutral supportive forum for sharing and networking, and to promote understanding and acceptance of Down Syndrome. They host an annual walk to bring the community together and raise money for programs and services for the individuals/families that have Down Syndrome.
Early in the morning on Saturday, September 24, 2016 Guardians of Justice members were given the opportunity to attend their very first event in coordination with local organization Drag Race for a Cure (DRC). The sun was blazing as everyone lined up to enter this awesome event! Horsepower was in great supply as Captain America, the Winter Soldier, Batman, Tinkerbell, Green Arrow and a Jedi Knight emerged to greet the gathering participants and spectators alike.
Every fall, Center for Independent Living supporters and volunteers take critical steps to raise awareness for disability rights and inclusion in Guardians of Justice Stroll and Roll 2016Central Florida. This year, we were invited to join in walking for independence on September 17, 2016 at Harbor Park in Lake Baldwin.
Each step creates a new opportunity for individuals and families living with disabilities. Each step brings CIL closer to achieving its mission and continuing the life-changing work to make Central Florida a community where people of ALL abilities can live independently.
Guardians of Justice recently traveled to Estero, FL for a fun-filled day at Kaikoa’s Beach Bash hosted by Salt Warriors, a Ft. Meyers non-profit organization. Salt Warriors “fight for local charities” by organizing fundraisers on their behalf to raise money for local families. This one in particular was for duel-charities, Caleb’s Crusade Against Childhood Cancer and The Kira Foundation.
Nestled on a beautiful piece of shoreline, beach bums came out to enjoy a warm sunny afternoon of music, food, and craft beer to party for a cause–raising funds for childhood cancer.
The Guardians of Justice were out in full force for this year’s annual BASE Camp’s Christmas in July, event on Saturday, July 23rd. This year’s event included great food, music, dancing, gifts and bikes all around! The smiles and hugs that greeted our Guardians and the Smile Makers upon their arrival carried its own level of magic.
Our visiting Guardians were represented strongly with the ‘force’ by Darth Vader, Kylo Ren and an additional Jedi to help with the balance of good. While there were a few lightsaber battles, it was all in good fun for the kids.
On the cool, breezy, and yet still very sunny day of Sunday May the 22nd members of The Guardians of Justice stepped out for a great event hosted by Ana Banana and Captain Joel Brandenburg. For 17 years the Ana Banana Kids Fishing Derby has been put on to benefit children with pediatric cancer and their families.
This event allows children who are diagnosed with cancer, in remission, or who are siblings of cancer patients get out and have a fun-filled day on the water. The may even actually catch some fish! This event is so special because a day full of fun and sun is just perfect for allowing these families to take their minds off of their struggles and letting them relax and enjoy the Florida beach atmosphere for a bit.
When we received the request to attend our first Buddy Break, we jumped at the chance! We have a long history of being involved with Nathaniel’s Hope and love what their Buddy Break program does for children and families.
In case you’re unaware, Buddy Break is a special place for very special people that they call VIPs. For families with special needs, their trained, certified, and background checked volunteers will care for your special needs child (VIP) and sibling for 3 hours on the third Saturday of each month. Each Buddy Break also has Nurses on duty for any issues that may arise from any medical condition.
The weather on April 23rd simply could not have been better for the 3rd annual Outreach autism Services Network’s Best Outcomes Walk. Many gathered at Sholom Park in Ocala, FL to enjoy the walk and camaraderie, to be also greeted with four heroic images.
OaSN utilizes this Autism focused walk each year to help raise funds for their organization and to have a little extra fun. Outreach Autism Services Network Inc. ™, (formerly Ocala Autism Support Network), OASN, is a nonprofit agency founded May 12, 2011 offering free autism services to the community. OASN was founded to facilitate the BEST outcomes™ for individuals with autism through education seminars,
On Saturday, April 9th characters from Guardians of Justice joined the Autism Society of Greater Orlando for their Autism Walk & Family Fun Day at the Orange County Convention Center. Participants in the 5K walk had to circle the North Concourse nine times (that’s a LOT!) to complete their pledges.
During opening ceremonies the Guardians were joined by puppeteers to listen as sponsors were thanked and awards were announced. The Orange County Sheriff’s office Honor Guard presented the colors as a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem was given by two young participants.
While the walk was in progress there were plenty of booths set up with activities,