Best Buddies Tampa Bay will hold its annual Friendship Walk on April 16 at Cotanchobee Park in Tampa. The Friendship Walk raises funds and awareness for Best Buddies Tampa Bay, which creates opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
The Friendship Walk is one of Best Buddies’ largest community events; more than 1,000 participants walked to support friendship and inclusion last year. The event’s attendance rate has steadily grown over the years, and has outgrown the previous location. This year, the Friendship Walk will be to Cotanchobee Park to accommodate for the number for over 2,000 participants.
“The Friendship Walk is truly an inspiring and life-changing event,” said Vallye Adams, executive area director for Best Buddies Tampa Bay. “We are fortunate to have tremendous support every year, and are incredibly excited for this year’s new venue. We’re looking forward to seeing the schools, students, our amazing sponsors, basically the entire community, come together to walk in support of friendship and to make a direct and positive impact on the lives of individuals with and without IDD.”
The fun, two-mile walk begins at 9 a.m. with registration opening at 8:00 am. Opening ceremonies featuring the Gaither High School “Showcase,” local television, radio and news celebrities, presentation from the mayor’s office, special Best Buddies Ambassadors and students, and more, Food, live entertainment, dancing, bounce houses, games, face painting and more will be available during the event at Cotanchobee Park, which is located at 601 Old Water Street in downtown Tampa, across from Amalie Arena.
More than 70 community and school teams, and 1,200 participants are already signed up. Walk-up registration will be available at the event, but those lines are expected to be long so interested participants are encouraged to register online. Open to the public, there is not a registration fee and no minimum donation. Anyone who raises or donated $50 on their registration page, will receive a commemorative Best Buddies T-shit at the walk. For registration and donations please go to: www.bestbuddiesfriendshipwalk.org/tampabay.
Food and beverages will be provided by PDQ, Whole Foods Tampa, Panera Bread, Sonny’s Bar b Que, PepsiCo, Duckys, Fresh Market and The Brunchery. VIP information and sponsorship are still available. Parking is available at surrounding lots and may cost from $5 to $10, depending on the lot.
To register for the walk, visit www.bestbuddiesfriendshipwalk.org/tampabay Additional sponsors and interested volunteers should contact Executive Area Director Vallye Adams at 813.254.9025.
About Best Buddies
Best Buddies is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant, international organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,500 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of the 50 United States, and in 50 countries around the world. Best Buddies’ eight formal programs – Best Buddies Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies, Jobs, Promoters and Ambassadors – positively impact nearly 700,000 individuals with and without disabilities worldwide. Best Buddies volunteers annually contribute, at no cost to their communities, support services that equate to more than $164 million USD.