Willimantic, Conn: — The Best Buddies chapter at Eastern Connecticut State University was named Overall Outstanding Chapter in the United States this summer at the Best Buddies International Leadership Conference held at Indiana University. Katharine Ferrone, chapter president, accepted the award on behalf of the club’s many members and faculty advisor Charles Wynn, professor of chemistry.
Best Buddies is a nonprofit, worldwide organization that helps create friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. “The vision of Best Buddies is to put itself out of business by promoting a world that no longer requires an organization to help create friendships with people with disabilities,” said Ferrone, a senior from Wallingford. “Now five years old, Eastern’s chapter spiraled to the top thanks to the inspiration and dedication of many fine student leaders and volunteers. It is demonstrating to both the university and community that people with disabilities are more like us than different.”
The chapter holds a variety of events each year, from dances to friendship walks, to help close social gaps. The most enduring goal of the organization is to provide opportunities for one-to-one friendships.