Please join us at Eco Relics on Sunday, November 13 for our Fall Fling! There will be live music, food from the Best Burgers Jax food truck, and free beer. Free beer? Free beer! We’re raising money for the Jacksonville chapter of Best Buddies International, a 501(c)(3) non-profit 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. It’s a great cause and a great organization that has grown leaps and bounds for nearly 30 years, based on the power of people to make real, lasting connections with their peers.
Anthony Kennedy Shriver, a nephew of JFK, started the first Best Buddies chapter at Georgetown University in 1987. His goal for the 50 original buddies was to “get these kids into the wider world.” In 1989, Best Buddies went national, becoming the first unified national social and recreational program for people with intellectual disabilities. The organization continued to expand into schools, workplaces, communities, and beyond. By 2003, Best Buddies had participants in all 50 states and 6 continents. Seven years later there were programs in 50 countries. Today, Best Buddies continues to expand its programs internationally.
Best Buddies’ local impact is significant. In Florida, some 200 school chapters count over 12,000 students as program participants. One Jacksonville chapter matched up high schoolers Kiah and Sarah, who quickly became best friends. Best Buddies is the most popular club at their school, with over 100 members. The girls enjoy a large group of friends, accompanying each other to fun social events like the Best Buddies prom they attended last spring. Together, they are part of a community that reaches over 120,000 people in Florida alone.
So come party with us at Eco Relics while we raise money for Best Buddies! Some of the Eco Relics crew will be performing live music on the front dock, and the woodshop folks will be demonstrating some woodworking tips on the observation deck inside. For a full list of Fall Fling festivities, please visit our Facebook Events page and let us know you’re coming! See you there!