Be a part of change and participate in the Best Buddies Friendship Walk #BBFW2016!

Illinois State’s chapter of Best Buddies will host the Illinois Best Buddies Friendship Walk on Saturday, April 16, at Normal Community West High School from 9:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m. Community members are encouraged to register to walk or to sponsor a participant.

The effort raises awareness and funds for the inclusion of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community, and has a far-reaching impact on everyone involved. Hundreds of individuals from the Illinois State chapter walked in the event last year, and Best Buddies is working hard to grow the event this year!

Following the walk, participants are encouraged to stay for the #BBFW2016 festival featuring music, food, fun and games for all ages.

About Best Buddies

Best Buddies at Illinois State is part of the international organization that joins each of the organization’s 100-plus student members across all majors with individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability. The result is powerful, mutually beneficial friendships that enrich the lives of both people and challenges community members to adopt evolved perspectives on the value of inclusion. Buddies participate in the organization’s monthly socials and regularly talk on the phone and hang out in the community separately from the larger group.

If you live in Bloomington-Normal, chances are you have seen Best Buddies out and about in the community!

The chapter hosted the Best Buddies Friendship Walk, an annual social gathering and fundraiser that celebrates the communities of support built by chapters across Illinois. "The walk raised more than $10,000 to help support the inclusion of people with disabilities into all sectors of society," said Professor Paula Crowley, faculty advisor and founder of Illinois State’s chapter. Their efforts earned them a fundraising award, and they also took home the Best Buddies Outstanding Chapter Award for Illinois.

Hundreds of supporters came out to participate in the Best Buddies Friendship Walk in 2015. The organization is hoping to continue to raise awareness with an even larger crowd at Normal Community West High School on April 16.

“There are some things about these exchanges that most observers would typically never see,” said Professor E. Paula Crowley, who established Best Buddies in 1991. “Illinois State students and their community buddies have so much fun talking and sharing life experiences. And it’s genuine. It’s real.”

Event details

What: 2016 Best Buddies Friendship Walk #BBFW2016
When: Saturday, April 16; 9:30–10:30 a.m. (registration) 10:30–11:30 a.m. (walk) 11:30–12:45 p.m. (festival)
Where: Normal Community West High School, 501 North Parkside Road, Normal, IL 61761
Register to walk or sponsor a participant!