2021 Grand Marshal: Retired Fire Chief Ed St. Louis
2021 Grand Marshal: BBCHS Best Buddies
Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Best Buddies is the world’s only nonprofit committed to eradicating the social isolation of people with disabilities through programs that engage and include youth and adults with disabilities and their peers. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies has grown to over 2,900 elementary school, middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of the 50 United States and over 50 countries around the world.
Locally, the BBCHS Best Buddies chapter was founded in 2006 by Becky Heddins. Over the past 15 years, Best Buddies has grown to one of the largest organizations at BBCHS with over 300 members. Our local chapter’s main focus is building friendships and promoting inclusion among students with disabilities and their peers. Best Buddies hosts various events for BBCHS students including a Best Buddies Talent Show, movie nights, bowling parties, ice cream socials, etc… In addition, the chapter collaborates with other organizations and teams within the high school for special events including paint parties with the art club, a Best Buddies dance routine with the dance team, the theater department invites Best Buddies to be honored guests at the musical premieres, the Varsity football team hosts Best Buddies for a football clinic and then invites us to lead them onto the field for their final home game each year. In addition to school wide activities, BBCHS Best Buddies along with the special education department also host other local chapters for our Best Buddies Prom each Spring and the Boilermaker Games in the Fall. Every year Best Buddies looks forward to creating more new and fun events promoting inclusion and making memories for all students!