Best Buddies Back in Action for 2019 Chapter
By: Mareena Musser
The Best Buddies club at Quaker Valley High School is kicking off its year with some awesome events! Best Buddies is an international non-profit organization where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities get paired with students/peers willing to be a friend. In the club peers are required to hang out with their buddies twice a month, but it shouldn’t be thought as a requirement because it is a fun activity! The Best Buddies group is extremely welcoming and inclusive to all.
“We are always looking for new members and it’s never too late to join! Best Buddies is one of the most rewarding experiences and creates memories that will last a lifetime!” says chapter president Kelsey McGaughey. Kelsey’s role in the program is to plan monthly events, make sure members are staying involved with their buddies, doing some paperwork and supplying updates to Best Buddies. Kelsey's favorite memory from being a part of Best Buddies was the 2019 Friendship Walk. She was the head coordinator for the event, planned all of the fundraising, and planned the event for our QVHS chapter.
“It was an incredibly rewarding day because although there was torrential downpour the whole time, many of our members came and made the best of the situation and had a blast playing in the rain,” she stated. Even in conditions that may not have been ideal, this fantastic group made the best of the day and had a fun time.
The Best Buddies program has been a club at Quaker Valley High School for 5 years. The club hosts events and also attends events throughout the school year. Some upcoming events that QVHS will be a part of are, the Plum High School Best Buddies dance, Friendsgiving at QVMS, and a YMCA hangout night. The Plum HS Best Buddies dance is a way to meet Best Buddies members from all over Pittsburgh. It is held for Best Buddies groups all around the Pittsburgh area at Plum HS. A more local event is Friendsgiving, which is held at Quaker Valley Middle School. The life skills Friendsgiving is a day full of good food, fun games and spending time with awesome people! During this day the life skills programs from the entire district of Quaker Valley come together at the middle school to spend time with each other and eat some good food. Another local event is the YMCA hangout night, this is a perfect opportunity for peers to hang out with their buddies. The event is held at the YMCA in Sewickley and gives members a chance to get to know each other with a night of fun and games.
This year Best Buddies celebrates its 30th birthday! The program has been around since 1989, and it continuing to grow and evolve. The high school program is also still growing and continuing to develop. If you are interested in the club, contact chapter president Kelsey McGaughey at firstname.lastname@example.org.