The Walpole Best Buddies Club joined with other Best Buddies organizations across the state to participate in the 10th annual “5k Gobbler” on Saturday, Nov. 18th at the Cunningham School in Milton. The event, funded through generous donations by parents and friends, is the number one fundraising walk in the entire country that raises awareness and support for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Proceeds go towards providing necessary tools for those with IDD to be independent and thrive with others.
“After we went last year and saw how amazing it was, Mrs. Donlan and I knew we wanted it to be something we did every year,” Walpole Best Buddies coordinator Kellie Robinson said.
This is the second consecutive year Walpole has participated in the Friendship Walk and raised over $2,000 to the International Best Buddies Organization this year alone. The entire organization was able to raise over $30,000 in donations, a little under half of their $70,000 goal for this year.
“We raised so much money this year and it is so cool how it all is going to such a good cause. I liked supporting the buddies,” Best Buddies club member Gianna Calisi said.
The event itself consisted of two heats, those running the 5k and those walking. Participants gathered in front of the elementary school to warm up. Following their return, large tents serving food and water were available to participants as music played and prizes were given out.
“It was awesome to see different Best Buddies clubs joining together to raise money and have some fun,” Best Buddies member Callie Ross said.
Walpole High School nurse Rachel Jackson and school resource officer Tommy Hart assisted in bringing seven service dogs to support Walpole’s buddies and friends as well as congratulate participants as they crossed the finish line.
“It went pretty well, awesome turnout. We raised a bunch of money. We’ll definitely be back next year,” Walpole Best Buddies President Dan Mccarthy said.