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Best Buddies expresses ‘men for others’ through friendship

Photo by Ben Jackson '11 - Michael Keenan '11 works on a puzzle with a student from Madison Meadows Middle School as a part of the Best Buddies Club Nov. 19.

By Erik Masingill ’12

Everyone knows there are many clubs to join at Brophy.
Clubs such as The League of Extraordinarily Classy Gentlemen, Key Club, National Honors Society and many more are among them.

However, there is one club that is truly unique to Brophy, the Best Buddies Club.

Best Buddies has been at Brophy since 2000 and is a national organization founded by the Schreiber family.

The club spends its time on Fridays after school from 1 to 3 p.m. at Madison Meadows Middle School. The students play games with the middle school students who have intellectual and physical disabilities, such as Uno and other activities.

One of these activities was the Halloween party held at Brophy Oct. 30.

Normally, the club travels to spend time with their buddies. However, the party was a chance to have the students come to Brophy.

The students spent time in the Great Hall eating candy, hanging out and playing games with each other.

The co-facilitators of the club are Brophy counselor Mrs. Karen Parise and Brophy Principal Mr. Bob Ryan.

The two presidents of the club this year are Alex Iversen ’11 and Michael-Owen Panzarella ’11.

“The goal is to have a one-on-one friendship,” Mrs. Parise said.

“The idea is to match kids with intellectual and physical disabilities with friends so they would have peer friendship because a lot of those students have never had friendship,” she said.

A total of 80 students at Brophy signed up to join Best Buddies, but there were only 14 students to work with at Madison Meadows, so a total of 18 Brophy students go to the middle school.

Brophy students often join the club due to friends or family members being a part of the organization or a student at Madison Meadows.

And each one of the 18 Brophy students makes a huge impact on the students at Madison Meadows.

“The boys look forward to seeing their buddies every week, and the students view it as the highlight of their week to spend time with their best friends,” Mrs. Parise said.

Mrs. Parise also added that Best Buddies is the epitome of men for all others because it extends friendship to students who have not experienced it before.

“The students at Madison Meadows are always looking to make friendships and have fun,” Iversen said.

“They are always looking forward to see us because the friendships that we create with them are something that they hold in the highest regard,” he added.
Members said Best Buddies is truly an experience they will carry through the rest of their lives to serve others.

“In the club we take time out of our personal lives and give it to these students,” Iversen said.

“Best Buddies is a perfect example of something that is portraying the image of a ‘Man for Others’ that Brophy has asked us to be.”

Iversen added that Best Buddies is not something that a person participates in and then once it is over or he completely forgets about it all. The time a person puts in is something he will always remember and something that will help a person in other times of his life.

“Unlike most of the clubs that students can be a part of at Brophy, Best Buddies is something that does not only improve your life, but it improves the lives of others,” Iversen said.

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