Recognizing the community's most active leaders in the name of inclusion
Best Buddies in Hawai’i’s virtual Champion of the Year Friendship Jam is set to air on K5 at 7 p.m. on November 19, 2020! Join Best Buddies for a concert and friendly fundraising competition celebrating inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, featuring beloved local musicians, Best Buddies Ambassadors, and a silent auction and live appeal. You can also watch the livestream on HawaiiNewsNow.com and facebook.com/bestbuddieshi at 6:30 p.m.
Best Buddies is a non-profit founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver that promotes one-to-one friendships, job opportunities, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Best Buddies is proud to manage 27 (and counting) elementary school, middle school, high school and college chapters on O’ahu and Maui and is seeking to expand to Kauai and Hawai’i. The organization is also planning to open Best Buddies Citizens, a program that facilitates one-to-one friendships between adults with and without disabilities and which will be the first of its kind in Hawai’i.
Best Buddies’ Champion of the Year Friendship Jam is a unique event that unites and recognizes the community’s most active leaders in the name of inclusion. Through eight weeks of raising funds and awareness for Best Buddies, its champions will generate countless opportunities for true friendships, competitive jobs, and valuable leadership development for individuals with IDD across the great state of Hawai’i.
The campaign will culminate with a televised Champion of the Year Friendship Jam program emceed by KUMU’s Devon Nekoba that will celebrate the champions’ collective impact and include ambassador speeches from Best Buddies participants, a silent auction and live appeal, and performances from several fabulous musicians, including longtime Best Buddies supporter Henry Kapono. This televised program will showcase the Best Buddies mission first hand – creating a more inclusive world for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Proceeds from the Champion of the Year Friendship Jam are fundamental in supporting current and expanding state programs that provide one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living. These programs can be found in all 50 states and will create promising opportunities for more than 350,000 people this year.