Miami's Best Buddies chapter receives volunteer awardMar 25, 2011
The Miami University chapter of Best Buddies, an organization that
promotes inclusion and friendship for people with intellectual
disabilities, received the inaugural Group Volunteer of the Year Award
from the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The group
was honored at a banquet March 20.
The Miami chapter of Best Buddies has 232 members; this year the chapter has made 50 matches for one-to-one friendships. The group offers activities including an ice cream social, a holiday party, bowling parties and Best Buddies Day at a Cincinnati Reds game. An additional 116 Miami students support the group through meetings and events.
“These students really make a difference in our community. These are the times when you realize that ‘inclusion’ is not just a dream – MU Best Buddies make it a ‘reality’ not only for people with special needs challenges and their families, but for the larger community,” said Jacqueline Rioja Velarde, assistant director of Miami’s Center for American and World Cultures and involved with MU Best Buddies. “What a transformative experience and valuable commitment!”
The Miami chapter of Best Buddies, formed in 2004, is advised by Kathy McMahon-Klosterman, associate professor of educational psychology. The group received an exceptional chapter award in 2008 and has been recognized at the international convention as a top chapter three years in a row.
Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver.