Best Buddies has big hopes for 2010

Best Buddies is starting up again this year after a successful 2009-2010, with the biggest moment being winning the award for the Most Outstanding Chapter of the Year at the Leadership Conference over the summer. It’s the fourth year in a row the Best Buddies chapter from RB walked away with the award. This year especially came as a surprise, according to chapter President Senior Danielle Ryan.

“We weren’t planning on applying for the award this year, but decided to at the last second, so we’re very surprised we won. I’m very excited that we were able to win it for the fourth year in a row,” Ryan said.

Another exciting moment last year came when they participated in a PSA about the usage of the word “retarded”. After seeing a video with the same basis made by another Best Buddies chapter, the officers decided that they needed to make one of their own. So the officers of the club, along with a select few members, filmed the video urging people to “Spread the Word, to End the Word.” The video was shown to all students during their English classes, along with being put on syndication on RBTV.

The video was a success, and along with it was a banner at all lunches anyone could sign to pledge to “Spread the Word, to End the Word.” That also proved to be a success, with tons of students and RB signing the banner and making the pledge.

The video was not only a success around the RB community, but also nationally as it won an award after being nominated by someone else not related to Best Buddies.

“We didn’t even know about the award when we decided we wanted to make a video about the usage of the ‘r-word’. The video came out better than we could have hoped, and it was a shock when we found out someone nominated it for an award. It was even more exciting when we won.” Ryan said.

With all those accomplishments last year, it’s hard for the officers not to be excited about this upcoming year. However, a big need for the club this year is guys to even out the amount of special needs guys in the club.

“There are a lot of phenomenal new freshmen buddies, mostly guys, entering the program so we’re very excited to have some good matches this year. We lost a lot of good seniors from last year so we need guys to replace them. I’m really looking forward to this year,” Ryan said.

It all kicks off with an information setup in the lunchroom during all lunches on Friday September 10th and Monday September 13th. Anyone who’s interested in the club can go up to the table and talk to the officers about what exactly the club is all about. After that is an interest meeting on September 14th during all lunches in room 137. That meeting is where students can go and sign up for the club if they’re interested in joining.

The faculty sponsors, Mari Mortenson and Dawn Soprych, along with all the officers, are excited about having a great year.