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Annual Friendship Walk raises more than $82K

by VINCE FIDUCCIA
Best Buddies Maryland
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The 2011 top fundraising team, Tyler's Milers, with University of Maryland head footbal coach Randy Edsall and Aly from Mix 107.3.
Participants from the Best Buddies chapter at Towson University won the top fundraising award for school-based programs.
A beautiful May morning saw 520 people descend on the University of Maryland, College Park for the 2011 Best Buddies Maryland Friendship Walk. These walkers had one mission – to change a life, one step at time. Led by Chairwoman Terri Klatzkin and Co-chairwoman Cheryl Alexander, the results were remarkable.

Together, they joined with fellow citizens to make this year’s walk the most successful in history with more than $82,000 raised. This represents a 45 percent increase from the previous best achieved in 2010.

Walkers enjoyed a morning stroll around the picturesque campus; this followed the opening ceremonies that were led by Aly Jacobs from Mix 107.3 FM as master of ceremonies.

Honorary Chairman and first-year Maryland head football coach Randy Edsall spoke to crowd about the importance of teamwork and helping create opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Miss Maryland USA 2011 Allyn Rose and Miss Teen Maryland USA 2011 Kirsten Nicholson were on hand to pose for pictures and greet walkers. Walkers got their energy with coffee and donuts courtesy of Dunkin Donuts, and bagels courtesy of Bagel Place.

Top fundraising teams included Tyler’s Milers, University View, The Holy Clark Walkamolies, Chevy Chase Trust Happy Campers and Awareness.   The top Best Buddies fundraising Chapters included Towson University, Atholton High School, River Hill High School and Sherwood High School.

“We are so thrilled that the community has made such a grand statement in support of our mission,” said Best Buddies Maryland State Director Vince Fiduccia.   “Coach Edsall’s presence and the work of our event committee, staff and supporters give hope and awareness to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Following the walk, the University of Maryland Best Buddies Chapter hosted the Friendship Games, a carnival-style family event inside Ritchie Coliseum. Lunch was provided by Panda Express and Chick-Fil-A.

The walk would not have been possible without the generous support of platinum sponsor, Clark Charitable Trust Foundation, gold sponsor The Meltzer Group, and the effort and dedication of the University of Maryland Best Buddies Chapter.
Support our friendship programs in Maryland: DONATE or VOLUNTEER at Best Buddies today.
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