2023 Friendship Walk raises over $96,000 for Minnesota Programs
The Best Buddies Minnesota Friendship Walk raised over $96,000 for inclusion! We had over 600 amazing walkers raise funds and awareness to support our one-to-one friendship and leadership development programs in Minnesota. This walk wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our sponsors: Abdo, Speech Remedies LLC, BlueCross BlueShield Minnesota, Burns McDonnell, Finley’s, First Light Asset Management, Fortune Financial, General Mills, Health Partners Park Nicollet, i4cp, Land O’Lakes, Minnesota Vikings, Olson, Clough, & LeBlanc, Parables at Wayzata Community Church, and Ryan Companies. We also are grateful to Corner Balloon Shoppe, JonnyPops, General Mills, Cub Foods, Old Dutch, Caribou Coffee, and Culvers who donated in-kind goods to support this event.
These funds enable us to continue supporting our 28 school friendship chapters and our two community adult friendship programs and help us welcome new chapters this upcoming fall. These programs build one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), offering social interactions while improving the quality of life and level of inclusion for a population that is often isolated and excluded. Through their participation, people with IDD form meaningful connections with their peers, gain self-confidence and self-esteem, and share interests, experiences, and activities that many other individuals enjoy – from elementary school through adulthood!
Photos Captured by Colton Otte of Blue G Productions and Shari Fleming and Alex Crnobrna of Shari Fleming Photography
Top 5 Walkers raised $8,268!
Elizabeth Neuville – $4,016
Ajani (AJ) Lewis-McGhee – $1,370
Gabrielle Granger – $1,212
Audrey Hauser – $870
Michael Tankenoff – $800
Top 5 School Teams
Minnetonka Middle School West – $5,752
University of Minnesota – $2,835
Mounds View High School – $1,490
Minnetonka High School – $1,145
Eastview Best Buddies – $630
Top 5 Community Teams
Elizabeth’s Exciting Buddies – $4,376
Parables Pals – $4,330
Team Ava – $3,342
Beyond Limits – $1,570
Camille’s Crew – $1,522
Top 5 Corporate Teams
InPursuit Executive Search – $1,225
General Mills Disability Network – $1,050
Team Finley’s – $985
Team Abdo – $905
Speech Remedies LLC – $840
Thank you again to our friends, walkers, followers, sponsors, donors, and volunteers who helped us continue to create change and spread our mission of inclusion!