Meet Alli and Lizzie
In the fall of 2017 the Community School of Davidson High School (CSD) started Best Buddies. At their Sorting Hat Match Party, Alli Serdinsky pulled the name of her Peer Buddy from the hat. Alli squealed, “Lizzy!” Both smiling ear to ear, they hugged. That hug was the irst of many hugs to come and the beginning of an amazing friendship.
“Lizzy and Alli were already friendly, so learning that Lizzy would be her Best Buddy was a great surprise. Alli was so excited to be matched with Lizzy!” said Alli’s mom, Jessica Marks. “It’s been wonderful to watch their relationship grow and I can’t wait to see what the next year holds for them both.”
Lizzy Tomalis is a sophomore and CSD Chapter President and Alli, a junior, is the Buddy Director. Alli attends oficer meetings and keeps her classmates up to date on Best Buddies events.
“Best Buddies is special to me, it’s really awesome!” says Alli. Her love and excitement for Best Buddies is truly contagious.
Alli and Lizzy spend time together at school, but the real fun happens after the bell rings. In December 2017, Best Buddies in North Carolina was awarded a grant from the Charlotte Motor Speedway Children’s Charities and invited CSD for a special presentation.
“At Christmas we went to the Nascar track and saw Christmas lights. We both got a teddy bear and had our pictures made in front of the Christmas tree,” said Alli.
Alli loves eating out so the two took advantage of a day off school to go to Steak ‘n Shake; she’s still talking about her mint chocolate chip milkshake. When asked how she feels about Lizzy, Alli had one thing to say: “She is very special and funny. She gives me great hugs and I care about her a lot. She is inspirational to me.”
“Alli and I instantly became friends and we have had so many good times together. I love her hugs, and she always brightens my day with her huge smile. Alli has a way of making everyone feel special,” said Lizzy. “Joining Best Buddies has helped me in so many ways and I feel like I am a better person for it. I have made genuine friendships, particularly with Alli, but also with all of the Best Buddies club members. I hope to continue to grow our Best Buddies club and help others make connections and friendships just like I did.”
While CSD strives to be an inclusive community for all, we knew there was and always will be a need to develop true, authentic friendships in and beyond our school walls. Often I sat across the table in IEP meetings and gazed into parents’ eyes. Those eyes showed gratitude for the education and skills that their child was receiving, yet there always seemed to be a piece missing. I would hear stories of their child rarely being invited to join a group going bowling, out for pizza or even having a sleep over- the typical teen stuff. That was the hole that we needed to ill. My heart weighed heavy, and it was at that time that Izzi Tritz reached out to me about Best Buddies. Wa-la! This was exactly what our community needed. What a difference this year when I sit across that IEP table. Bowling, parties, lunch dates, plays, movies, sporting events… are happening! All of our eyes: parents, students, teachers, administrators now ill with happy tears! We have all beneited immensely! Best Buddies has and will continue to have a lasting impact on our school community.
–Amy Tomalis, EC Director and Mom to Lizzy