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Walk for Friendship with Best Buddies

UST Best BuddiesSenior Micaela Brebion, an international development major, takes her buddy Robert to Buffalo Wild Wings all the time because it’s his favorite restaurant. Brebion is one of the many University of St. Thomas students involved with Best Buddies Texas, which is a part of an international non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing socialization and employment opportunities.

To culminate a year of service, the UST group is participating in the Best Buddies Friendship Walk from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 4 at Terry Hershey Park.

Brebion, historian and treasurer of Best Buddies Texas, is encouraging others to walk with the Best Buddies group.

“I’ve always wanted to help with social projects,” Brebion said. “For this, we want people to come out and have fun. We’ll mostly be walking, but there will be booths, food and activities like face painting. It’s for a good cause and we hope, because it is at the park, for it to be bigger and better than ever.”

Since her freshman year, Brebion has been an active member of the organization. Her goal is to keep UST students active with their buddies by visiting them at the Best Buddies Texas center, 3550 West Dallas St.

“We try to get students really involved,” she said. “We have weekly chapter meetings on campus and try to have a good relationship with students. We want them to go visit their buddies too. When I visit, I like to hang out with everyone, so it’s great to go to the Center.”

The UST Team is ranked second in fundraising out of all the Texas teams, and Brebion is the second highest fund raiser out of all Best Buddies Texas participants. As a team, UST has raised $830. Team members include Chloe Jester, senior and president of Best Buddies Texas, Laurie Drell, Brian Ehlinger, Karina Flores, Sarah Loeffler, Daniel Quijano, Jesse Roberts, Bonnie Treece and Diana Vo.

Since 2009, more than 24,000 participants have walked in more than 22 states, and raised more than 2 million dollars for Best Buddies. Best Buddies works to make sure the Friendship Walk changes lives, as participants walk for inclusion, friendship, leadership and opportunity for people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. Every Friendship Walk promotes an atmosphere for new friendships, promising opportunities, and most of all, inclusion for all people. Proceeds from the walk help fund Best Buddies’ programs in all 50 states to provide one-on-one friendships, leadership development and integrated job opportunities for individuals with IDD.

For more information about the Walk and how to support the UST Team, visit their team page.

Pictured: The UST Best Buddies Team next to the Chapel of St. Basil.

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