Best Buddies Hoop it up

In an effort to raise money for a good cause, members of Mount Allison’s chapter of Best Buddies Canada launched their event, “Hooping it Up!”, which aims to raise money to maintain the local society’s events. For the first time ever at Mt. A, students and community members were able to go out and enjoy an active event with the Buddies and peer (student) buddy group.

The event was simple, a free throw competition in the Athletic Centre. Participants had the opportunity to shoot a basketball for every dollar donated. Students are ranked against each other on a campus and national level. The scores are submitted with prizes being awarded to the top male, top female, and top Buddy shooter at the campus and national level. Four nets were available to shoot at, with two rebounders to keep the balls moving, as well as a scorekeeper to keep track of all the bank shots and total failures. The members of the best buddy society were around on rotation, engaging with their buddies and integrating them with the participants for a maximum amount of fun. In addition to the fundraising, participants were welcome to come and play games with the Buddies. “It is a really fun game,” remarked one of the Buddies, “it keeps us all connected.” Businesses from the local community, such as Pickles, Mel’s, and Tidewater Books, donated gift cards and other prizes to go into gift bags for the top winners. In addition, Best Buddies Canada donated gift cards for Chapters.

Lauren Kervin, a third year student studying Psychology, is the current president and coordinator of the Mount Allison Best Buddies Chapter. Kervin has been involved with the society since its creation in the winter semester of 2011. Best Buddies enjoys a supportive national community that has been reaching out all over Canada since 1993, although there are other societies at Mt. A. doing similar outreach. “Our event was about promoting inclusivity and acceptance,” says Kervin, “at the end of the day everyone who came out had fun and that was our ultimate goal.”  In total the event raised 200 dollars. “We plan on using the money to plan and create events for the Buddies.” says Kervin. There was a lot of interest not only from the campus, but also from the local community. Many members from Sackville Basketball appeared sporting their respective jerseys.

Best buddies Canada is an organization that specializes in building one on one relationships with people who have intellectual disabilities. Students looking to be paired with a buddy must undergo an interview and criminal record check in order to be eligible for membership. In addition, the pairing isn’t random: “We look at personality and interests.” says Kervin. Down syndrome is the most common condition that the Peer (or student) buddies work with, but Best Buddies Canada promotes working with any intellectual disability, such as Autism or William’s Syndrome.

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