by Cassie Mattia

Best Buddies International, a groundbreaking nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), has announced that the Best Buddies Friendship Walk will take place April 22, 2023, at Marcum Park in Hamilton for the second time in Southwest Ohio.

Since 2009 more than 250,000 participants have walked in over 60 cities and raised more than $24 million for Best Buddies. 

The Friendship Walk is coming together out of a need for funding in Southwest Ohio. Program numbers have grown significantly, creating a need for more support.

Walk for Friendship at Marcum Park on April 22nd

Can you imagine life without a friend in school?

The nonprofit Best Buddies in Ohio works to build inclusive communities through a friendship program where somebody with and without an intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) is matched in a one-to-one match. 

They have a school-based program in elementary, middle, and high schools and colleges. They support more than 500 people in this program throughout SW Ohio.

They will have a community event, The Best Buddies Friendship Walk, to celebrate their programs and raise funds to support and grow the program. You can join for FREE.

The Walk on April 22nd will include food, games, music, and FUN! You will meet local volunteers and participate in the movement to build inclusive communities. This is a family-friendly event!

Local volunteer and Chair of the event, Kate Malo, shares, “Best Buddies has been a part of my life since I was a student at Miami University. It makes a big difference in the lives of our friends with IDD, and it made a huge difference in mine. I hope people will attend this event and learn what we are all about!”

“Our Friendship Walks are one of Best Buddies’ most celebrated events, bringing communities together where they can experience our mission in action and engage with our program participants,” said Anthony K. Shriver, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Best Buddies International. “I am beyond grateful that the important work of this organization will continue, thanks to our participants, volunteers, partners, and the entire community. I am confident that we will continue empowering people with special abilities, connecting advocates, and mobilizing our supporters to create a more inclusive world.”

Best Buddies in Ohio anticipates more than 100 participants lacing up their shoes to walk for inclusion, all working to surpass the 2023 fundraising goal of $35,000. Registration begins at 10:30 AM, and the Walk commences at 11:15 AM at Marcum Park, 116 Dayton Street in Hamilton.

Following the Walk, please join Best Buddies for a day of fun, family, wellness, and friendship. 

Proceeds from the Friendship Walk are fundamental in supporting 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.

Walk for inclusion. Walk for friendship. Walk for a better Southwest Ohio! 


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, leadership development and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to nearly 2,900 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide.

Today, Best Buddies’ nine formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies®, Jobs, Ambassadors, Promoters, and Inclusive Living— engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 56 countries, positively impacting the lives of nearly 700,000 people with and without disabilities around the world.

In many cases, due to their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships.

For more information, please visit,, or

For more information about the Best Buddies Friendship Walk and/or media inquiries, please contact:

Catlin Skufca
[email protected]

Columnist Cassie Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland and the Public Relations Coordinator at Butler County Board of DD. Cassie was awarded the Little Miami River Chamber Alliance 2021 Young Business Professional of the Year. She is the President and Publisher of Loveland Magazine.

Your comments can change our community

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.