Best times in Best Buddies

How one club has made the biggest impact on my life

Pictured above is the East Lake chapter of Best Buddies at their annual bowling night!

Photo provided by Mrs. Small

Pictured above is the East Lake chapter of Best Buddies at their annual bowling night!

Samantha Roghaar, Advertising Manager

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Daily thumb wars, dance parties, never ending hugs, and best friends are just a few of the first things that come to mind when I think about Best Buddies. Throughout all of high school, Best Buddies has been my favorite organization to be a part of; it has given me the opportunity to have genuine friendships and create and plan events for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The Best Buddies mission is to promote inclusion for individuals with IDD and Best Buddies has inspired me to work towards this mission every day. Senior and Career Cafe creator Anne Bauer said, “It’s very rewarding being a part of such an amazing organization like Best Buddies because the Best Buddies mission is so special.”

This month, Best Buddies Tampa Bay will host their annual Friendship Walk. The Friendship Walk is a fundraising opportunity to support Best Buddies’ programs and a super exciting event! There will be a DJ, dancing, food, fun, and more. This year’s walk will take place on Saturday April 21st at 9am in Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park and goes until 12pm. If you cannot attend the walk but want to support Best Buddies, check out the East Lake High School team fundraising page at www.tinyurl.com/elhsbbwalk. The East Lake High School team has a goal of $2,500 and they are only a few hundred dollars away! Senior and Best Buddies President Natalie Rincon said she’s “so proud of everyone’s hard work fundraising this year and can’t to see everyone at the walk!”

Overall, Best Buddies has allowed me to give back to my community in a meaningful way and has contributed to my passion of wanting to be a special needs education teacher to impact the lives of my future students. If you weren’t a part of Best Buddies this year, stay tuned for information on how to join at the beginning of next school year!

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