Best Buddies Ohio Friendship Walk

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

Event raises awareness and funds to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Ohio

Columbus, OH ‒ September 21, 2019 Best Buddies Ohio will hold its Friendship Walk event to support inclusion for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) on October 12th, 2019.

The Friendship Walk will kick-off at Cosi at 8 a.m. and will end at Land-Grant Brewing Co. The walk is being led by Chair Taylor Exner and her walk committee. For more information on the walk, visit

“The number of individuals with IDD in Ohio who are benefiting from Best Buddies’ programs continues to grow,” said Taylor Exner, Walk Chair. ‘I am excited to continue to spread the word about Best Buddies Ohio and create opportunities for one-to-one friendships between individuals with and without IDD. Not only does this improve the quality of life and level of inclusion for a population that is often isolated and excluded, we are fostering positive bonds that will help break social barriers. Whether you just want to learn about what we do, donate, or learn how to volunteer, we hope to see you on October 12th!”

The Best Buddies Friendship Walk plays a key role in raising awareness and funding programs dedicated to helping individuals with IDD become more independent and valued members of our society. Since the walk’s inception in 2009, more than 75,000 participants in 46 cities have walked to raise awareness for inclusion, friendship, leadership and opportunity for people with IDD.

Proceeds from the walk will go towards supporting and growing the number of Best Buddies Ohio middle school, high school, and college school friendship chapters where students with IDD form friendships with their peers, as well as other Best Buddies programs such as ambassador trainings where individuals with IDD develop public speaking, self-advocacy and communications skills. There are currently 24 school friendship chapters and more than 80 trained ambassadors in Ohio. The organization hopes to double these numbers in 2019 and 2020 with funding from the event.

Today, Best Buddies’ eight formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies®, Jobs, Ambassadors, and Promoters — engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 50 countries, positively impacting the lives of more than 1.2 million people with and without disabilities around the world. In many cases, as a result of 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 information, please contact the Ohio State Director, Catlin Layton at or by calling 813-514-5818.

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. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to nearly 2,500 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide.