A note from the State Director, Catlin Skufca
“I love you!” Jackson Mishler exclaimed as he embraced Dane Halle at an August golf outing. It was no surprise to me as he is exuberant, funny, opinionated, and never shy to tell you exactly how he feels. He attended an ambassador training in 2018, long before our Citizens program was established in Cuyahoga County. He did not realize I was only a few weeks into my job at Best Buddies, and I never forgot him! When we did open Citizens a few years later, he was matched with Dane Halle, a community volunteer.
The golf outing was planned by Dane of Arch Amenities Group this past August, and proceeds from the tournament were donated to Best Buddies in Ohio. At the event, Dane shared with the golfers, “I have been matched with Jackson for a few years, and he has given me more than I could ever give to him. Friendship is so important.”
Jackson and Dane have attended community sporting events, shows, and have gone out regularly. Dane has even hired Jackson to work part-time at Arch Amenities Group in Downtown Cleveland. They operate a gym in the 200 Public Square building. Jackson shared, “I like working with Dane!”
In a recent note I received from Jackson’s mother, Susan Mischler shared, “We all have something to give to make our life, world, and community a better place. Best Buddies is paving a road to make it easier for people like my child to share their gifts.”
As we continue to form more friendships across the state, my greatest desire is to see people connect on the same level Dane and Jackson have. These friendships create an impact that reaches infinitely farther than we imagine. A friend will change your life forever.
I am five years on the job, and this never gets old. I am writing to share their story this month, but also with a request: would you be a friend? We are seeking community volunteers to be matched in Cuyahoga and Franklin Counties. Also, through the generous support of donors, we can open more school-based friendship chapters. Do you know of a school that could benefit? I encourage you to consider it.