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Washtenaw County Best Buddies Friendship Walk to take place in April

Sign up to walk, fundraise, make new friends

Participants of the 2019 Best Buddies Friendship Walk.
Participants of the 2019 Best Buddies Friendship Walk. (Best Buddies International)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – On April 18, the Best Buddies Friendship Walk of Washtenaw County will take place at Washtenaw Community College.

A morning walk celebrating camaraderie, the Best Buddies Friendship Walk is intended to bring together community members and highlight fundraising efforts.

Hosted by Best Buddies International, the annual walk will provide the Michigan branch of the organization with funds for its one-to-one friendship programs, integrated employment programs and leadership development programming for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

According to Lindsay Clark, the director of Mission Advancement for Best Buddies in Michigan, the programs allow individuals to find local friendships, be employed and productive members of their communities, and to advocate for themselves.

Participants of the 2019 Best Buddies Friendship Walk.
Participants of the 2019 Best Buddies Friendship Walk. (Best Buddies International)

The Washtenaw County Best Buddies Friendship Walk will begin at 10 a.m. Fundraisers and walkers will be able to dance, walk and celebrate together until noon.

“[We’re] really getting our local school chapters involved. And anybody in the disability community -- or anybody who’s not in that community -- who wants to be a part of something really inclusive and special we’re hoping will show up that day,” Clark said.

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According to Clark, the walk will include some dancing, Zumba, entertainment and games for participants.

Having opened a Michigan office in April of 2019, the April 18 walk will have the support of Best Buddies International staff but volunteers are still needed to help with registering walkers, setting up for the walk, handing out T-shirts and walking alongside participants as a buddy.

“And so, we need people to help staff the event but we also need folks who are will to be a walk-buddy perhaps for somebody,” Clark said. "A lot of our participants with IDD [intellectual and developmental disabilities] might want somebody to help walk with them or might require some additional support.”

Volunteering as a walk-buddy is not only fun, but it embodies the idea of the event.

Participants of the 2019 Best Buddies Friendship Walk.
Participants of the 2019 Best Buddies Friendship Walk. (Best Buddies International)

Those interested in fundraising for the walk or volunteering can find more information at the registration website here.

Participants who raise $50 will receive a Best Buddies Friendship Walk T-shirt. Additional incentive items, like water bottles or wireless Bluetooth headphones, will be given to those raising over certain amounts.

Washtenaw Community College is at 4800 E. Huron River Drive.

More about Best Buddies International

A nonprofit organization, Best Buddies International brings together community volunteers and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living.