BOSTON — On April 1, 2008 from 6-9 p.m., Donahue’s 4th floor was alive with laughter and the smell of great food, as Best Buddies held the Togetherness Dinner in combination with Unity Week 2008 at Suffolk University on Tuesday. Including a free family-style dinner for all that attended, along with dancing, arts & crafts, games, and most importantly stories from the buddies, the event was eye opening for many who attended, and proved to be another great memory for best buddies members and buddies alike.
Best Buddies is a non-profit organization on the Suffolk University campus that enhances the lives of those with mental disabilities. Run by volunteers, the dedicated members of Best Buddies host many events, like the Togetherness Dinner, where students and buddies can build friendships and become important parts of each other’s lives.
Suffolk University’s Unity Week gave Best Buddies the opportunity to have an event on campus in which all students could attend, and all the members of Best Buddies agreed that the Togetherness Dinner would be the perfect event to hold.
At then dinner, buddies shared their experiences they have had with Best Buddies, and talked about living with mental disabilities and the problems they face. Buddy Jenny Leblanc, 42, from Watertown, MA said being part of Best Buddies has been life changing for her. “Without Best Buddies I would not meet so many nice people and be able to go to so many fun places.”Other buddies, including Alberto Iocco, Eddy Lincoff, and Loraine Saia spent their time making arts and craft’s with their buddies Amber, Katie, and Sophia. With so many activities going on and so much food to be eaten there was not a bored face in the crowd.
Students who were not part of Best Buddies were surprised at how much fun they had and were glad that they were able to attend the event.
Suffolk University Junior Jami Delauri said she just stopped by the event after class with a friend but was glad she did. “It was touching to hear the stories from the buddies who got up to speak. I think Best Buddies is showing people that all people need to be treated equally and friendships can really change lives,” she said.
The officers of Best Buddies were pleased with the success of the Togetherness Dinner. “I truly enjoy being a part of this organization” said Best Buddies Vice President Katie Martin. “Events like this Togetherness Dinner really bring the Suffolk Community together to understand different kinds of people and how you can make such a huge difference in someone’s life by just being their friend.”
The officers of Best Buddies were excited with the large turnout for the event, since they were all hoping the event would open up eyes for the Suffolk Community and hopefully bring more positive attention to Best Buddies and their goal as an organization.
For more information on Best Buddies and upcoming events please visit www.bestbuddies.org.