Westborough High School Best Buddies Wins National High School Chapter of the Year!


Joseph Bellofatto, Alana Spiro, Katie Meade (Tom Brady’s Buddy), Gia Bellofatto, Mary Kate Lehman and Alana Spiro

By: Corina Gencarelli & Sarah Corcoran

Last year, the Westborough High School Best Buddies chapter had the honor of being selected as the Massachusetts State Outstanding Chapter of the Year. This award recognizes a chapter for their outstanding demonstration of love, friendship, and inclusion. After receiving this award, they completed a separate application for the National Chapter of the Year. In the application, things described were: chapter involvement, friendship pairs, and chapter events. Letters of support were also received from Superintendent Boch, as well as parents from the club.

As a result of the award, Westborough High School’s chapter met the founder of Best Buddies, Anthony Shriver as well as Tom Brady’s buddy Katie Meade.  She is the first Beauty Spoken model with Down Syndrome.

Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 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. In each chapter of Best Buddies, club members participate in events in the community and spend time together.

This year, the president of the WHS club is senior Mary Kate Lehman who has been a memeber since her sophomore year. The vice president is senior Alana Spiro who has been a member since her freshman year. Spiro works closely with Lehman helping with setting up many events and making sure everyone is included. The secretary is senior Sarah Kline who reaches out to other Best Buddies programs from other schools. The treasurer is junior Troy Kanji, the associate member director is junior Sammi Hogan, the membership coordinator is sophomore Rachel Lehman, the shadow officer is sophomore Emma Spiro and the buddy director is senior Gia Bellefatto.

Best Buddies is a club that strives to form relationships between students both with and without special abilities. The club looks to form strong friendships on a both one-to-one level and among all the members in the club. Mary Kate Lehman believes, “Best Buddies is more than just a club, it’s really a way of looking at life, and we eventually want to get to the point that everyone is so accepting and inclusive of everyone that best buddies is no longer needed to help students reach out to those in their school.”

bestbuddiesStudents can contact Best Buddies at [email protected] if they’re interested in joining. Best Buddies’ second meeting is the September 14, and the third meeting is on September 20. The first event is September 17. Some events include the Best Buddies Dance, A Best Buddies Walk, and many other fun events throughout the school year.