Best Buddies Friendship Walk

Best Buddies of Southwest Florida turned its annual Friendship Walk into a CARE-a-Van on April 17, stretching through a route at Miromar Outlets. The event raised $61,613 for the local nonprofit and celebrates the progress made toward inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

American Ninja Warrior competitor Morgan MooseWright served as the events Grand Marshall. Wright is a Golden Apple award-winning P.E. teacher and a decorated U.S. Army officer.

This years Friendship Walk honored Emma Bullock, a former Best Buddies chapter officer at Estero High School, who tragically passed in February 2021. The Bullock family was honored in the lead car of the CARE-a-Van, provided by Tamiami Ford. Emmas Echo was the top-performing team, raising $8,811.

Michael Weinstein was the top individual fundraiser with $4,078, followed by Candace Kelley and Stephanie Maffeo. A team from Florida Gulf Coast University raised $2,904. The Southwest Florida Citizens, a Best Buddies adult program, raised $6,905.

The event included many give-aways, vendors and prizes. Way Too Tall Torrie, Mussel Man (of Mighty Mussels baseball), Captain America and Superman provided roving entertainment and photo ops. Other entertainment was provided by the Estero High School dance team and cheer squads from Ida Baker High, Bonita Springs High and FGCU.

Proceeds from the Friendship Walk support local programs that provide one-on-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living. Save the date for the next Friendship Walk on April 30, 2022.



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