Laughter and chatter filled the room at Marist on Sunday as Batman and Superman faces piled up on the table as part of the Best Buddies event.
Best Buddies Marist hosted their superhero event where Marist students and their buddies could do a series of superhero-themed arts and crafts.
Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization that is dedicated to ending the social, physical, and economic isolation of over 200 million people with both intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Best Buddies Marist is one of 2,500 chapters worldwide that exist within this organization.
There was an overwhelming sense of community and friendship in Student Center Room 3104 on Sunday afternoon, as the students helped their buddies complete their activities so that they could be awarded with their certificate of completion.
Marist students and buddies worked together to complete the crafts. These crafts included making a superhero symbol on a plate, making superhero masks, making wooden superheroes, and others. made as part of the Best Buddies Marist event.
The club works with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The buddies are from the community and they are paired with Marist college students. The bond that is formed is unbreakable.
According to Melissa Fletcher, the Vice President of Best Buddies Marist, many students remain in contact with their buddies after graduation. She recalls that there are numerous members of the Class of 2018 who are now graduate students who still come back to the monthly events to see their old buddies.
Each month Best Buddies Marist hosts an event. In addition to this, they do events on campus to raise awareness and fundraise for the international Best Buddies organization.
Secretary of Best Buddies Marist, Bianca Gibbons-Morales, describes it as “a nice break in the flow of college to help other people.”
“The purpose of this club is to build these relationships and friendships between people with disabilities and the college students on campus. It’s mostly to get them aware of each other and to build friendships,” said Fletcher.
There are over 40 students who are a part of Best Buddies Marist. Of those interviewed, each described the club as one that is unlike any other.
“The people that come to this event are just some of the best people in the world. They really bring positivity into your life, so it is really a great thing to do,” said new member and senior, Jon Newfield, “There’s a wholesome feeling that you get. It’s a great thing to do.”
“When you come into this club, it is just a happy environment. Everyone in here is always having fun, playing games, and being happy. Other clubs it’s more you do informational things, it’s not really interactions with people. This is very interactive,” said Fletcher.
Best Buddies Marist leaves a lasting impact on all parties involved.
“These events brighten my day because it is truly heartwarming to see the positive impact I have on a buddy by simply setting aside a part of my day to spend time with them,” said freshman, Caroline O’Handley.