by: Jessica Buettner
This past weekend the Best Buddies club hosted a movie night and presented the film Where Hope Grows. The film shows that one person can change the lives of those around them, no matter who they are or what they do with their lives.
The film allowed for a great bonding experience for all who attended.
“I wanted to see my best buddy once again and the movie looked very interesting and inspiring,” said Jessica Pasowicz, a member of the Best Buddies program.
Where Hope Grows is about a baseball player, Calvin Campbell, an alcoholic who gave up his career. He was at personal all-time low and starts to fall more into a deeper state of depression and regret; until one day he goes to a local grocery store and meets a young man who has Down Syndrome nicknamed, “Produce” and it changes his life forever. The movie conveys an im-portant message that every person, regardless of who they are, has the capability to bring people closer together.
“It showed that even though someone has a disability, they are great in other ways and can show you a different perspective on life,” comments Pasowicz after seeing the film.
Lauryn Nicole, the head advisor of the Benedictine chapter of Best Buddies, decided to bring this event back after it disappeared a couple of years ago.
“We decided to host this event because the movie showcases that those who have intellectual and developmental disabilities can do anything anyone else can,” says Nicole. “It is also a way for us to start out Spread the Word to End the Word campaign.”
The Spread the Word to End the Word is a campaign that Best Buddies hosts to educate people on harmful language and to help people understand the harmful effects of using words like “re-tarded” (r-word). However, It’s not just the r-word that needs to extracted from people’s vocabu-laries, it’s also words such as “mentally challenged”, “dumb” and any other words that put down a person who is disabled.
Best Buddies uses there campaigns to help those with disabilities overcome negative stigma by building positive, long-lasting relationships.
“The best part of Best Buddies is spreading friendship to someone with a disability, who some-times might be excluded because of their disability,” says Pasowicz.
One of the events that the club hosts that is a part of the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign is the Slam Dunk to End the Word basketball game.
“It’s one of our biggest events of the year where our chapter members play a basketball game,” says Nicole. “We usually have the men’s basketball team her out along with the cheer team. Al-so, this event might have a huge surprise!”
The club tries to focus on building a relationship with a person who has intellectual and/or devel-opmental disabilities.
Best Buddies is looking forward to having their Slam Dunk to End the Word basketball game next month. Students are encouraged to come out the game to cheer on the members of the club and their buddies as they duke it out in an epic game of basketball.