By: Sharon Aron Baron
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School held their Best Buddies Spring Fling last Sunday which included a picnic and fun day at the park for those with intellectual and development disabilities.
Held at Pine Trails Park in Parkland, the event included Best Buddy chapters around Palm Beach County including: Florida Atlantic University High, Atlantic High and Olympic Heights High.
MSD Chapter President Alexis Nilsson said the Spring Fling was planned after the Olympic Heights High School chapter president Jacob Pasternack reached to them to create an event after the school shootings. They met at Starbucks where they panned out all the details.
Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization and global volunteer movement which creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
At the Best Buddies Spring Fling, each of the children and their “buddy” played on the playground, threw a frisbee, played basketball and ate a picnic lunch.
“The kids were really happy about the event,” said Alexis. “It made me feel so special seeing the smiles on their faces, and seeing that they were having a good time.”
A junior at MSD, Alexis, who lives in Coral Springs said there were over 60 people in attendance from freshmen to age 22. Best Buddies student advisor is Gail Saltzman, who is an ESE Support Facilitator.
Their next activity is the Best Buddies Friendship Ball this Saturday at Marlins Park and will include chapters from all over Broward county. To follow MSD Best Buddies on instagram go to msdbestbuddies.