Best Buddies International is dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Through the organization’s ‘Friendship Program’, they provide one-to-one friendships between people with and without IDD and offer social interactions, while improving the quality of life and level of inclusion for a population that is often isolated and excluded. Taking their programming virtual is just one of Best Buddies’ many ways of providing meaningful connections during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year, we partnered with the organization by sponsoring the second annual Best Buddies Florida Virtual Friendship Ball to help make the event free for participants and their families. The event provides over 4,000 students across the state of Florida an opportunity to come together virtually and inclusively to celebrate the diversity of their friends while experiencing a life milestone event – prom.  

Mosaic employee, Joe Pope will help kick-off the evening by welcoming attendees virtually. Joe has a special connection to the organization, which he volunteers with, as his daughter Abigail is the President of the Best Buddies chapter at Riverview High School. 

“The unprecedented challenges we faced together in 2020 has highlighted just how important our mission of inclusion is for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities – they need us now, more than ever,” said Anthony K. Shriver, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Best Buddies International. “This year, we look forward to seeing our communities across the nation virtually unite to celebrate inclusion. 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 together we will continue empowering people with special abilities, connecting advocates and mobilizing our supporters to create a more inclusive world.”  

“We believe that by contributing to meaningful initiatives and programs, we can make a positive impact on our local communities,” said Callie Neslund, Mosaic’s Director of Government and Public Affairs. “We are excited to support the Florida Virtual Friendship Ball with Best Buddies and celebrate an inclusive and diverse opportunity for students from across Florida to come together and celebrate their uniqueness with their friends.”