BY ESTELA SUAREZ
Best Buddies hosted its annual match party on Sept. 28. More than 100 club members attended the meeting in order to be officially introduced to their peer buddies.
“This event is really important for the buddies, because it’s the beginning of a friendship,” Best Buddies President Amy Gallagher said. “They get to know their peer buddy and talk about what they want to do together this year.”
Although attendance is mandatory for peer buddies and buddies, associate buddies and members without a partner are also welcome to attend. For many students, this will be their first time sitting down and actually talking to the other members of the club.
“Many students at Cypress [Bay] think that the buddies are unapproachable,” Gallagher said, “In reality, they are just normal students who want to make new friends like anyone else.”
Vice President Emma Bartleman said peer buddies are expected to make the club and their buddy a priority both in school and out of school.
“While I can’t speak on behalf of all of the buddies in the club, I hope that it makes them feel more included and know that they have friends who really care about them,” Bartleman said.
Best Buddies tries to host events and parties that would have a great impact in the lives of the buddies. These events are usually not school related in order to allow their club members to wind down and have fun.
“Best Buddies was created to make all of the buddies feel included on a daily basis,” Gallagher said. “Joining the club teaches all the students the importance of inclusion and the power of friendship.”
Gallagher said the Best Buddies board wanted to make this event a fundraiser as well as a bonding event, but they decided to let their members enjoy it without having to pay. Throughout the year, the club will host other events that will have a dual function; they will work as a fundraiser and as a bonding experience for the members.“We recently got a snow cone machine donated to us, and we thought about selling [snow cones] at the match party,” Gallagher said. “The match party won’t act as fundraiser but we have many more to come that definitely will.”
Best Buddies is one of the largest clubs at the Bay and continues to grow each year. As the first event of the year, the match party is one of the most important events that Best Buddies will host.
“The buddies are always excited for a new year in Best Buddies, because it means they get to make even more friends; students also really enjoy and benefit from these friendships,” Gallagher said. “Over the years, there have been some pairs that have been so successful that they are matched together for multiple years.”