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by Lacey Watt
Best Buddies  
  Multi-colored hearts are scattered across the tables with markings in varies of colors. These notes have saying such as “Believe in yourself”. Words of encouragement are given to one another in hopes to brighten each other’s day.
  On Feb. 12 Best Buddies members gathered in the south side of the cafeteria to celebrate the day of love, Valentine’s Day. While sharing and writing valentine cards for all the kids in the club, and having festivity food, people gathered around the tables just to be with one another and talk about their day with friends on this special celebration.
   Buddy Director Emily Novicki explained why she enjoys Best Buddies and what she looks forward to the most with the Best Buddies meetings and parties thrown.
   “Being involved, being with friends, making new friends. It’s like a whole pack of family around me. We’re just having fun,” Novicki said.
The Valentine’s Day party and many other events are planned and thrown by the president Madison Peterman, and is helped by many other members of the club.
 “I plan everything.. tell everyone the schedule, contact everyone, and Mrs. Selby sends remind 101’s,” Peterman said.
  Parties like these within the group often celebrate holidays. For example, this upcoming St. Patrick’s Day, a party is being thrown where someone dresses up as St. Patrick and leaves little surprise gold coins for people. Additionally, there is an annual end of the year party where everyone celebrates what was accomplished over the year and what fun they had. And yes, everyone is invited to join the fun.
  Best Buddies is an open invitation to anyone who wants to join, but to have more information on what exactly Best Buddies is, it is a non profit organization that brings together someone with an intellectual or developmental disability with someone who does not to match them in a one to one friendship.
  “Friendships like these are special and can last a lifetime,” Peterman said.
   Meetings usually go down with heavy and fun conversations. Conversations can vary to what they did that day, to planning the next big event that they want to host. Snacks are also provided, and just overall meetings are forming friendships, just kind of like the Valentine’s Day party.
   “Best Buddies goal is to go out of business actually. We do not want to have to be able to do Best Buddies, because there should not have to be a club to do that in the first place,” Peterman said.
  For the time being of having the club, it is important that many people know about it, and participate. With the more people involved, the less people will have to work to stress that everyone needs a friend, even with a disability. it seems to be more common sense that everyone needs to be treated with respect, and that words, like the “R” word, are very hurtful.
  “It’s just so important for myself and everyone else to get involved because everyone needs a buddy, no matter what walk of life they are from,” sophomore Sydney Heitmann said.
  People can get involved by going to the  upcoming event outside of school that raises awareness to spread the word to end the word. The Friendship Walk on April 24 is where all of the Best Buddies Chapters in Indiana will gather around in the downtown area at 10:30 a.m. to walk/run a mile around the canal and raise money for Best Buddies. Afterward there is a party thrown with  an awards type ceremony To know more information, one can ask Mrs. Selby or Madison most likely to be found in Selby’s room.
  With Best Buddies, the main accomplishment they are trying to achieve is for everyone to be kind on their own, and for someone to join The Best Buddies Club is a step toward that direction.

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