ManasotA buds

Who we are

Manasota Bringing Up Down Syndrome (BUDS) is a volunteer-led 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is headquartered in Sarasota, FL.  In 2022, the organization celebrated its 20th year of providing programs and services to the local Down syndrome Community.

our mission

To provide families with a neutral and supportive forum for sharing and networking, and to promote understanding and acceptance of Down syndrome.

our vision

To improve the lives of individuals with Down syndrome across the Florida Gulf Coast.  To champion inclusion, awareness, and the well-being of the Down syndrome community.



Manasota BUDS provides individuals with Down syndrome and their families with services, programs, and support. Our members with Down syndrome range in ages from newborn to adult. Our organization has its highest concentration of members in Manatee and Sarasota Counties; however, we have members throughout the entirety of the Florida Gulf Coast. Altogether, Manasota BUDS serves over 250 families directly impacted by Down syndrome.



In May 2002, a small group of parents of children with Down syndrome joined to form a group to network, compare notes, share stories, provide information, and support one another.  Over time, the organization grew significantly, adding other families with similar needs and desires.  

Over 20-years later, through the hard work of its parents and with the help and support of many donors, volunteers, and community partners, Manasota BUDS has grown from a small parent movement to a tenured non-profit organization that serves and supports more than 250 families.  

Since 2002, Manasota BUDS has maintained its affiliation with the National Down Syndrome Society, the National Down Syndrome Congress, and has hosted an annual Buddy Walk. Visit our Buddy Walk Fundraising page.  Manasota BUDS became an affiliate of the Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action group in 2011.



Historic Logo

Upon founding, the organization’s initial motto was “Steps for a Brighter Tomorrow”.  About 5-years later, the organization formally named itself Manasota BUDS, where BUDS served as an acronym for “Bringing Up Down Syndrome”.  A founding Manasota BUDS parent created the organization’s logo, which faithfully served Manasota BUDS for over 15 years.  Elements of this historic logo remain integral to the Manasota BUDS story.


New Logo

In 2022, in celebration of Manasota BUDS’ 20th year of service, the organization turned a new page, introducing a new logo with added versatility, as well as modernized aesthetics, typography and colors.

The logo features 3 characters, a tribute to the 3rd 21st chromosome in all persons with Down syndrome.  Varying colors are used to represent the diversity within our organization.  Bodies resemble the outline of hearts, representing the love we share for our members and our cause.  Arms meet in the middle of the logo to represent friendship, togetherness, and inclusion.  Panning out, the logo resembles the outline of a shamrock, because we feel lucky to be a part of the Down syndrome community.


In transitioning to a new logo, honoring elements of the historic logo was a priority.  We chose to “bring to life” the stick character from the historic logo, naming him Buddy.  Buddy now serves as the organization’s mascot, and is featured as a main character in much of the organization’s storytelling.


Interested in joining the Manasota BUDS family?

Membership is FREE, so join today and help us in bringing up Down syndrome!