The Best Buddies Ball


Ben Goldschlager

The buddies form a conga line as they move to the music of the Kandoo Band.

On Saturday, May 11, the Westport chapter of Best Buddies hosted its third annual Best Buddies Ball at Staples. This year, the ball was sponsored by Westport Pizza, Bobby Q’s and Oscar’s Deli.

On Saturday evening, Best Buddies chapters from across Fairfield County were invited to dance, sing, play UNO, pose for photos and have fun with their fellow buddies. This year, approximately 150 people attended the ball.

According to the Best Buddies website, Best Buddies “is a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Anthony Amaru ’13 has been a member of the Best Buddies club for a year. However, despite having only joined the club during his senior year, he says that he has made some amazing memories.

Amaru described the event as “the prom for the buddies” and said that “it was very successful, and all of the buddies looked like they were having a fantastic time.”

Natasja George ’14 has been in the Best Buddies club for three years. George decided to join the club because she said, “It’s really gratifying to see how happy we can make the buddies by doing the simplest things, like asking to hang out together one weekend.”

George was impressed by the turnout at the ball. She especially enjoyed the Kandoo Band, in which all of the members have special needs. She described the band’s music as “remarkable.”

Patty McQuone, the faculty advisor of Staples’ Best Buddies club, had a fun time at the ball and knows that the buddies did as well. “They live for this event. It makes them so happy,” McQuone said.

Julia Kaner ’13 and her buddy danced the night away at this year’s ball.

“My buddy literally wouldn’t get off the dance floor. We danced so much. It was great,” she said.

“Best buddies means so much to me. I love the club, especially because of the way it integrates kids with disabilities into regular high school lives and activities,” Kaner said. “The club gives the buddies so much joy. I will never forget the experiences that Best Buddies has given me.”