Best of Buddies tops the year off with a final BBQ

Best of Buddies members celebrate their last meeting.

Best of Buddies ended the year with a celebratory BBQ on Friday, May 13, honoring graduating seniors and the induction of new officers. 

“I felt so happy to get to hang out with everyone at the BBQ,” said junior and Best of Buddies member Mariam Gabbra. “I was thankful to be part of Best of Buddies this year and get to become friends with so many of the students.”

Students enjoyed the celebration with fresh hot dogs and an array of snacks and sweets as students and members of Best of Buddies danced, played games, and mingled in the courtyard. 

Looking back, Best of Buddies achieved so much this year. From winning The Golden Bell Award to pulling off Cougar Relays with such a successful turnout, Best of Buddies left an impact on so many students despite the pandemic. 

Best of Buddies advisor Mr. Daniel Fernandez said, “the Christmas party where we recognized our achievement of getting the Golden Bell award, hung out with one of our donors, and had a fun time eating and dancing was my favorite.” 

Best of Buddies was inspired by the international non-profit organization known as Best Buddies, which raises money, spreads awareness, and provides opportunities for people with cognitive and developmental disabilities.

Each year, Best Buddies holds a fundraising walk called the Best Buddies Friendship Walk in which schools, colleges, and organizations from all over the world participate. 

While RCHS did not officially participate this year, Best of Buddies plans to attend next year. 

People from all over California participate in the Best Buddies Friendship Walk in Long Beach. (Photo by Nimrah Khan)

Moving forward, Best of Buddies plans to foster greater connections with general ed students. 

“Next year, we will party, party, party, and make stronger connections with general ed students,” said Fernandez. “Really live up to making best buddies between students with special needs and neuro-typical students.”