Community Leaders Celebrate Inclusion at Best Buddies Champion of the Year Kick-Off in Central Illinois

Bunny and Daniel entertain at the 2020 Champion of the Year Gala!
Bunny and Daniel entertain at the 2020 Champion of the Year Gala!

Best Buddies International, a 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), is excited to announce its Champion of the Year Gala hosted by Best Buddies in Central Illinois.

Champion of the Year is an annual fundraising competition organized by our staff, Event Committee and Advisory Board, featuring a select group of individuals, professionals and prominent community leaders. These philanthropic trailblazers compete to raise the most funds for Best Buddies and earn the ultimate title of Champion of the Year. By reaching out to the community to raise funds and spread awareness, candidates champion for Best Buddies, our mission, and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The event will take place October 1 at Warehouse on State Street downtown Peoria. The Champion of the Year Gala will celebrate the efforts of 10 philanthropic leaders from Central Illinois like Peoria, Dunlap, Washington, and Bloomington-Normal communities while partying with a purpose to raise funds for Best Buddies programs. The gala will feature a silent and live auction, dinner, cocktails, dancing, a keynote address from a Best Buddies Ambassador and a special awards ceremony. This year’s Champion of the Year Gala will provide new opportunities for inclusive friendships and employment for individuals with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The official kick-off party for the friendly fundraising competition will take place on July 29 at Mack’s, downtown Peoria. Champions will gather with their top supporters and campaign managers to share their passion for inclusion and friendship.

By securing a spot at the 2021 Champion of the Year Gala, you will be part of Best Buddies’ goal to expand more opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with IDD living in Central Illinois.

Visit bestbuddieschampion.org/centralillinois for more information and to purchase tickets for the event.

 

Host Committee Members for this year’s Best Buddies Central Illinois Champion of the Year Gala include Jason Parkinson (Onefire Media), Travis Platt (Whiskey Crawler Creative), Ashley Bellamy (The Yard Peoria), Jones Bros Jewelers, Morton Caterpillar, Maui Jim, Chambers & Sons, Fox Pub, WMBD/WYZZ TV, and Country Club BBQ.

For more information, please contact Ryan LaCosse, Area Director for Best Buddies in Central Illinois at ryanlacosse@bestbuddies.org

ABOUT BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL: 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. For more information, please visit www.bestbuddies.org.