Best Buddies Friendship Walk Students walk to promote inclusion

Members of Best Buddies pose for a photo at Sunday's Friendship Walk at White River State Park.

The Friendship Walk is a nationwide annual event run by Best Buddies. The walk promotes the inclusion of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and serves as a fundraiser for local Best Buddies programs.

"The Friendship Walk is important to Best Buddies because it creates a time to collect funds for the organization," board member Sidney May '21 said. "The walk allows you to do something for the Best Buddies organization and your club. The money raised and the number of participants also helps Best Buddies Indiana get future sponsorships and funding as they are a nonprofit organization."

Sam Hohlt '19, Allie Hall '20, Ty Hohlt '21, Mads Jackson '20, Gracelyn Clouser '21, Katie Cuculick '20, Ashlee Emerine '19 and Sidney May '21 pose together outside the Best Buddies tent.

The Friendship Walk is important to the buddies, the peer buddies and the Best Buddies programs across the state.

"The friendship walk is something that brings everyone together to show the importance the people with special needs have," peer buddy Allie Hall '20 said. "It's so important to me and the CG Best Buddies program because it's an opportunity to celebrate them and help them feel valued. It's an opportunity to make new friends and learn the importance of what these people have to bring to our lives and communities."

Sidney May '21 and Gracelyn Clouser '21 smile with Jared at the Friendship Walk.

"The Best Buddies Friendship Walk is important to me because it is a time where people doing the exact same thing you are get to come together and walk for what they believe in," May said. "It's a really great time to see the large amount of people Best Buddies reaches and allows us to work as a club and grow as a club."

Allie Hall '20, Katie Cuculick '20 and Sidney May '21 smile for a picture before the Friendship Walk.

Best Buddies is proud of the work done at the Friendship Walk, providing the community to witness the program's mission in action: to make the world a more inclusive, accepting place.

Mads Jackson '20 takes a selfie with Gracelyn Clouser '21, Sidney May '21 and club advisors Kellie May and Sue Larmore.
Sidney May '21, Liam Price '20, Gracelyn Clouser '21 and Katie Cuculick '20 smile for a picture together before the Friendship Walk.
Anika Vinard '22, Sidney May '21 and Gracelyn Clouser '21 smile with Aaron at the Best Buddies Friendship Walk.
Best Buddies board members Gracelyn Clouser '21, Katie Cuculick '20, Mads Jackson '20 and Sidney May '21 pose together at the Friendship Walk.
Participants in the Friendship Walk march together to promote inclusion.
Anika Vinard '22 and buddy Aaron stop for a picture during Sunday's Friendship Walk.

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