The Best Buddies Friendship Walk took place on Saturday, Oct. 20. Eight St. John’s students participated in the 5K walk on the National Mall. The event is a chance for all of the chapters of Best Buddies in the Capital Region to come together to show support for their shared cause.
Best Buddies is an international organization that benefits people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Friendship Walk is a chance for students in the DC area to show how much they care about inclusion. Over 2,000 people walked this year.
Megan Strachan ’19, SJC Best Buddies chapter president, said, “I think what makes the Friendship Walk so special is that everyone from all around the region participates. It’s the one event per year that all of Capital Region Best Buddies comes together.”
The walk is also a fundraiser for Best Buddies. Students who raised more than $50 received an inclusion T-shirt on the day of the walk to show their support. This year, St. John’s collected more than $1,000, and the event as a whole made more than $400,000. The money from the event goes toward opening new Best Buddies chapters in the area. Strachan said thatthis year they will be able to open 10 new Best Buddies chapters.
People often walk for a specific person or group. Olivia Cristillo ‘21, who holds a leadership position in the St. John’s chapter of Best Buddies, said, “Some people that were part of our team said that they were walking for the Kennedy School, which is our friendship school, and it was just all around an amazing event with amazing people raising money for such an incredible cause.”
Mr. Sheridan, one of the faculty advisors for SJC Best Buddies, joined students at the walk. He said he thinks the walk is so important because friendship is something that everyone wants and can relate to. “People are always going to be inconvenient to each other, and this takes time to celebrate that because it’s just friendship,” Sheridan said.