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Best Buddies to hold first Friendship Walk

Adam Llorens | Friday, April 27, 2012

The Best Buddies of Notre Dame will hold their first Friendship Walk and 5K Run tomorrow morning to benefit Best Buddies Indiana.

Junior Elizabeth Klinepeter, president of the club, said the event is designed to spread the impact the organization has on those with developmental disabilities.

“Best Buddies is an international organization and their largest fundraisers throughout the country are state Friendship Walks,” Klinepeter said.

She said while state chapters hold a Friendship Walk each spring, Notre Dame is one of three college chapters to host the first collegiate Friendship Walks.

“We will be having a 1.5-mile walk and a 5K run starting at Stepan Center, going around South and God Quads, and ending at Stepan Center,” Klinepeter said. “All of our chapter members and their buddies will be walking with us.”

Klinepeter said she hopes the walk attracts many people from the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s communities.

Junior Nick Pellegrini, the event’s coordinator, said the proceeds from the Notre Dame event will benefit Best Buddies Indiana.

“This is a fundraiser for chapters, specifically across the state of Indiana, to support people with developmental disabilities in their specific areas,” Pellegrini said.

Pellegrini said planning for the walk began last summer and continued through the academic year.

“Most of the planning this semester has been a combination of working with the Best Buddies Indiana Office, our club officers here on campus and [the Student Activities Office (SAO)],” Pellegrini said. “We have weekly conference calls with the state office and, in between them, meetings with SAO to try to prep for the event and make sure the race logistics are organized well.”

The event encourages close interaction and brings participants together, Pellegrini said.

“This walk is a good example of bringing our colleges students and buddies together for a fun event and raising awareness on campus by walking through campus,” he said.