Inaugural Best Buddies Friendship Walk: Missouri
Missouri hosted their inaugural Best Buddies Friendship Walk on Sunday, April 26, 2015 at Creve Coeur Lake Park in St Louis, MO. The event drew over 300 participants and volunteers, raising over $62,000 for Best Buddies Missouri!
Zac Stacy, former St Louis Rams running back served as Honorary Walk Chair, sharing his excitement for Best Buddies programming in Missouri and his desire to continue to support the special needs community. Zac was joined by fellow Rams teammate and running back Chase Reynolds on the day of the event.
Key sponsorship from community leaders included KHMC Inc., Dino’s Logistics, Hogan Trucking, Nutriformance, Fresh Market and many more. A special shout out to our community volunteer groups from Wells Fargo Advisors, Boeing and Visitation Academy who worked tirelessly before, during and after the event to ensure its success. Top fundraisers for the event earned an adorable Best Buddies Teddy Bear generously donated by the Build-A-Bear Workshop.
Local singing sensation, Darrius Roberts started the event off with a pitch perfect National Anthem. Will Macon and Bryan Link (Best Buddies Tennessee buddy pair) shared their inspiring story of friendship with the crowd, showing the impact of Best Buddies programs and the power of one to one friendship. As the clouds parted and the sun shone through, people hit the trail for the 5k fun run and 1-mile walk cheered on by Sparkle Effect Cheerleaders.
Best Buddies Missouri’s first chapter, St Louis University, had a strong showing, attending with their buddies from the Greater St. Louis Down Syndrome Association. The school’s Billiken mascot was even on hand.
Post-walk activities chair massages, corn hole games and music and dancing led by DJ Jeff. Circus Kaput provided a very talented stilt walker, phenomenal face painting, and balloon artists. Various community partners were also in attendance to share their support. Food trucks Holy Crape, Meltdown and Maggie’s Ice Box were huge hits!
Overall, the Best Buddies Friendship Walk was a great way to spend a Sunday morning and an even better way to continue to raise awareness of Best Buddies in Missouri! We are excited to start planning for the 2nd Annual Best Buddies Friendship Walk in Missouri, scheduled for Spring 2016!