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Best Buddies Friendship Walk
April 17, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Best Buddies International, a groundbreaking nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), is excited to announce the Best Buddies Friendship Walk CARE-a-Van on April 17 at Miromar Outlets in Estero, FL. The Best Buddies Friendship Walk in Southwest Florida is the latest life-changing movement. Since 2009 more than 250,000 participants have walked in over 60 cities and raised more than $24 million to support the inclusive programs Best Buddies provides.
“The unprecedented challenges we faced together in 2020 has highlighted just how important our mission of inclusion is for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities – they need us now, more than ever,” said Anthony K. Shriver, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Best Buddies International. “This year we look forward to seeing our communities across the nation unite to celebrate inclusion and raise the critical funds needed to support people with IDD. I am beyond grateful that the important work of this organization will continue, thanks to our participants, volunteers, partners and the entire community. I am confident that together we will continue empowering people with special abilities, connecting advocates and mobilizing our supporters to create a more inclusive world.”
Best Buddies in Southwest Florida is expecting to have approximately 300 attendees CARE-a-Vaning for inclusion. The drive-thru CARE-a-Van begins at 9:00am and will run until 11:00am at Miromar Outlets in the area nearest the Playland entrance.
With safety in mind, registered walkers and guests will remain in their cars to drive a pre-set course at Miromar to visit multiple stations that will provide various give-aways such as snacks, drinks, goodie bags, and a photo station. Best Buddies welcomes participation from everyone throughout the community based on how they feel most comfortable. Beasley Media will provide music to accompany cheerleaders, therapy dogs, Way Too Tall Torrie, mascots and superheroes. Morgan “Moose” Wright from NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” will be serving as Grand Marshall.
Walk Committee Chair, Cindy Lingley, reports that the 2021 goal of $45,000 has already been surpassed. “Our Walk Committee has been working diligently over the last few months to ensure this event is fun for all! This year’s event is very special in that we will be honoring the memory of Emma Bullock, a passionate supporter of Best Buddies and a former chapter officer at Estero High. “
Proceeds from the Friendship Walk are fundamental in supporting local programs that provide one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living. These programs can be found in all 50 states and will create promising opportunities for more than 350,000 people across the U.S. this year.
Register at: www.bestbuddiesfriendshipwalk.org/southwestflorida to Walk for inclusion. Walk for friendship. Walk for a better Southwest Florida. To volunteer for the event, please submit this form.
This year’s Best Buddies Friendship Walk CARE-a-Van in Southwest Florida sponsors and corporate partners include: Tamiami Ford, Finemark National Bank & Trust, Conditioned Air, STARability Foundation, Cross Country Mortgage/The Wesson Group, Golisano Children’s Hospital/Lee Health, Movement Mortgage, Fairlife, Woods Weidenmiller Michetti & Rudnick, along with Beasley Media, Miromar Outlets and Starlight Productions.