Buddies Forever

By Kaitlyn Bell

On Saturday May 14, 2022, the New Hyde Park Best Buddies chapter attended the Long Island Friendship Walk. The Best Buddies Walk is the leading walk for awareness for inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The walk was a highly anticipated event for the club as they had been fundraising for the events months prior. The NHP Best Buddies Chapter raised $3,385, which was third among all Long Island schools to attend.

The event had previously been remote due to COVID-19, but was once again hosted at Marjorie R. Post Park in Massapequa. The event included diverse activities and games, prizes to win, and food for the walkers.

The day started bright and early with check-in for the walkers at 9:30 a.m. on the foggy Saturday morning. Opening ceremonies commenced an hour later, leading straight into the walk. The attendees walked for an hour and a half before the closing of the event.

For some members at New Hyde Park, this was their first official Friendship Walk in person, making it an exciting and unforgettable experience.

Source by Kaitlyn Bell

NHP Best Buddies smile with pride after completing their Friendship Walk.

“The Best Buddies Friendship Walk was such a fun way to raise money and see the chapters of Long Island together!" sophomore Olivia Tomalska said. "It was so nice being back in person since we couldn’t do a lot last year due to COVID restrictions. It really made my heart warm to see our best buddies and meet new ones too! I think it’s safe to say we all had a great time."

“The friendship walk was such an amazing experience! It was my first one, but it was one of the funnest things I’ve ever done! Getting to meet new friends and show our inclusion was awesome,” senior Alexa Rago said.

“It was so exciting and fun to be back in person for the Friendship Walk this year. We had about 25 members attend and our team raised over $3,000. It's a great day where you really see the camaraderie between not only our members, but other schools around LI,” Best Buddies adviser Ms. Bocchino said.

Needless to say, it was a day full of fun, joy and positive inclusivity.