COPAIGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A record crowd turned out Saturday to raise money and awareness for down syndrome.

As TV 10/55’s Richard Rose reported, despite the rain, 2,000 people joined the mile-long Buddy Walk along Long Island’s south shore.

Dancers greeted the thousands of families streaming into Tanner Park for the walk, all to stand together for a cause, including the entire Rodriguez family from Levittown.

“This is Team Carlani right here,” Eva Rodriguez said.

Eva is proud of her 7-year-old daughter Carlani, who was more than happy to make her television debut Saturday.

Carlani has down syndrome. Her family, and all those who walked a mile on the behalf of those with the disorder, came with a simple message.

“They have an extra chromosome. All the chromosomes are normal, there is nothing abnormal about them,” Esther Gomez-Nieto said, of Alexander’s Angels, a Buddy Walk sponsor.

Each year, 6,000 children in the United States are born with down syndrome.

Paul and Tracey Ferguson say their 8-year-old son Samuel is good at music and just about everything.

“We imagine him going to college or whatever he wants to seek. It may take him a little longer, but he’ll get there,” Samuel’s father said.

“He spells, he writes, he interacts,” his mother said. “(What’s he good at?) Making us laugh.”

It’s a positive message about what anyone can do when given a chance.

This is the eighth year for the Buddy  Walk, which raised nearly $80,000 Saturday.

Their goal is $100,000 so there is still time to help. You can donate by going to Alexander’s Angels website.

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