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Bismarck boy featured in Times Square virtual walk supporting Down Syndrome Awareness

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 4:20 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - It’s not every day a North Dakotan gets on Broadway, but that’s exactly what happened over the weekend.

To bring awareness for Down Syndrome, New York City held its annual Buddy Walk.

This year, like many events, it was virtual. And that made it possible for Bismarck kids to be seen on the big boards in Times Square.

Anders Jones can be called many things. He’s a cat-lover. He’s a musician. And he’s also an amateur photographer.

But on this day, he’s a Broadway star.

Anders was selected to be featured in the virtual Buddy Walk supporting Down Syndrome in New York City.

“I didn’t really believe that they had it right. I got the email, and I was kind of questioning if it was right. And it was right,” said Anders’ mom Kara Jones.

The Jones family has been involved with raising awareness of Down Syndrome for years.

They do the in-person walks in Bismarck, but this morning they’re at home watching the live stream of the pictures in Times Square.

To help celebrate with Anders, his orchestra teacher swung by early on a Saturday morning.

“He is a big ball of energy most of the time. Amazing musician. He comes with a lot of energy He loves making music with the group and just feeling the instrument in his arms,” said United Sound Orchestra Teacher Jeremy Overbeck.

The photos are going alphabetically, so they have to wait up to half an hour.

“We’re on the J’s” voiced the live stream narrator.

And then, Anders appears in the heart of New York City, along with his friends Danae, August and Aiden.

“There he is! That’s you! Did you see you?”, exclaimed the room.

“I’m just glad we can provide opportunities for him to be showcased and not just because he has Down Syndrome, but just because he’s a kid just like anybody else,” said Jones.

And after six seconds of New York fame, this Bismarck home returned to normal. And no one was happier about that than Anders’ cat, Aria.

This Saturday is the in-person Walk for Down Syndrome. Festivities start at the State Capitol at 10 a.m. and there is no charge to participate.

However, a $20 donation will get you a commemorative T-shirt.

More information can be found on their website.

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