Champion of
the Year

Unites and recognizes the community’s most active leaders in the name of inclusion.

By devoting their passion, talents, and networks to Best Buddies through a philanthropic competition, our Champions lay the foundation for transformative change in their communities.
Best Buddies Logo

Supporting Local Programs

All funds raised benefit Best Buddies – the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Our programs empower the special abilities of people with IDD by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society.

The IDD community that Best Buddies serves includes, but is not limited to, people with Down Syndrome, Autism, Fragile X, Williams Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain injury and other undiagnosed disabilities. .

Circle of Champions

Our Champions truly epitomize the word “Champion” itself. This select group of leaders raises millions of dollars for Best Buddies annually, and they impact their local programs in an extraordinary and unprecedented way. While they compete for weeks, we revere their commitment to inclusion forever and lean on their wisdom to guide future Champions.
Champions
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Circle of Champions COY logo
Million Raised
$ 0
Circle of Champions COY logo
Champions
0
Million Raised
$ 0

Our 2023 Top 3

1 | $142,588.00

Tina Gulledge

Tina Gulledge

South Carolina

2 | $137,401.45

Melissa Taylor

Palm Beach

3 | $117,048.00

Kaelyn Cassidy

North Florida

Our Nationwide Champion of the Year Winners

Congrats to our 2023 Alabama Champion of the Year

Lillian Hill

Raised $11,000 for Best Buddies in Alabama

2023

Alabama

Lillian Hill
$11,000
Kailey Sullivan

Congrats to our 2023 Arizona Champion of the Year

Kailey Sullivan

Raised $105,610 for Best Buddies in Arizona

Kailey Sullivan
2023

Arizona

Kailey Sullivan
$105,610

Congrats to our 2023 Bay Area Champion of the Year

BJ White
Raised over $31,795 for Best Buddies in the Bay Area
2023

California: Bay Area

BJ White
$31,795

Congrats to our 2023 Los Angeles Champion of the Year

Kristen Van Handel
Raised over $66,000 for Best Buddies in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Orange County!
2023

California:
Los Angeles

Kristen Van Handel
$66,000

Congrats to our 2023 San Diego Champion of the Year

Kimberly Hazard
Raised $57,231 for Best Buddies in San Diego
2023

California: San Diego

Kimberly Hazard
$57,231
champion winner

Congrats to our 2023 Sacramento Champion of the Year

Ashlee Patel

Raised $26,885 for Best Buddies in Sacramento

champion winner
2023

California: Sacramento

Ashlee Patel
$26,885

Congrats to our 2023 Connecticut Champion of the Year

Matt Davies & Val Sobol
Raised $11,000 for Best Buddies in Connecticut
2023

Connecticut

Matt Davies & Val Sobol
$11,000

Congrats to our 2023 Delaware Champion of the Year

Brianna Wolfle & Ben Moulder
Raised $10,958.00 for Best Buddies in Delaware
2023

Delaware

Brianna Wolfle & Ben Moulder
$10,958.00
Katie Kilmek

Congrats to our 2023 North Florida Champion of the Year

Kaelyn Cassidy
Raised $117,048.00 for Best Buddies in North Florida
Katie Kilmek
2023

Florida: North Florida

Kaelyn Cassidy
$117,048.00
Fabio Zacco & Marvin Fung

Congrats to our 2023 Orlando Champion of the Year

Fabio Zacco & Marvin Fung

Raised $46,613 for Best Buddies in Orlando

Fabio Zacco & Marvin Fung
2023

Orlando

Fabio Zacco & Marvin Fung
$46,613

Congrats to our 2023 Palm Beach Champion of the Year

Melissa Taylor
Raised $137,401.00 for Best Buddies in Palm Beach
2023

Florida: Palm Beach

Melissa Taylor
$137,401.00

Congrats to our 2023 South Florida Champion of the Year

Michelle Kligman & Carolina Rousell

Raised $55,094 for Best Buddies in South Florida

2023

Florida: South Florida

Michelle Kligman & Carolina Rousell
$55,094
Michael Mitchell

Congrats to our 2023 Tampa Bay Champion of the Year

Michael Mitchell

Raised $52,000 for Best Buddies in Tampa Bay

Michael Mitchell
2023

Florida: Tampa Bay

Michael Mitchell
$52,000

Congrats to our 2023 Southwest Florida Champion of the Year

David Elkins & Julie Lyle
Raised $7,585 for Best Buddies in Southwest Florida
2023

Alabama

David Elkins & Julie Lyle
$7,585

Congrats to our 2023 Broward Champion of the Year

Laura Geary

Raised $33,410 for Best Buddies in Broward

2023

Florida: Broward

Laura Geary
$33,410

Congrats to our 2023 Georgia Champion of the Year

Andrew Dixon
Raised $50,000 for Best Buddies in Georgia
2023

Georgia

Andrew Dixon
$50,000

Congrats to our 2023 Illinois Champion of the Year

Beth Hayes
Raised $23,520 for Best Buddies in Illinois
2023

Illinois: Central Illinois

Beth Hayes
$23,520

Congrats to our 2023 Chicago Champion of the Year

Victoria Hill

Raised $50,000 for Best Buddies in Chicago

2023

Illinois: Chicago

Victoria Hill
$50,000.00

Congrats to our 2023 Indiana Champion of the Year

Reid Brenton & Pete Steinkamp
Raised $69.950.00 for Best Buddies in Indiana
2023

Indiana

Reid Brenton & Pete Steinkamp
$69.950.00

Congrats to our 2023 Iowa Champion of the Year

Jennifer Taylor
Raised $31,000.00 for Best Buddies in Iowa
2023

Iowa

Jennifer Taylor
$31,000.00

Congrats to our 2023 Kentucky Champion of the Year

Ami Cain & Cam Brian
Raised $17,415.00 for Best Buddies in Kentucky
2023

Kentucky

Ami Cain & Cam Brian
$17,415.00

Congrats to our 2023 Maine Champion of the Year

Fiona MacArthur & Payton Brown

Raised $52,000.00 for Best Buddies in Maine

2023

Maine

Fiona MacArthur & Payton Brown
$52,000.00

Congrats to our 2023 Maryland Champion of the Year

Team Brandon
Raised $19,875.00 for Best Buddies in Maryland
2023

Maryland

Team Brandon
$19,875.00

Congrats to our 2023 Michigan Champion of the Year

Nick Paruch & John Wyskiel

Raised $69,500.00 for Best Buddies in Michigan

2023

Michigan

Nick Paruch & John Wyskiel
$69,500.00

Congrats to our 2023 Minnesota Champion of the Year

Sara Messerli and Maggie Erickson
Raised $44,216.00 for Best Buddies in Minnesota
2023

Minnesota

Sara Messerli and Maggie Erickson
$44,216.00
Champion winner

Congrats to our 2023 Kansas City Champion of the Year

Daniel Owen

Raised $9,045 for Best Buddies in Kansas City

Champion winner
2023

Missouri: Kansas City

Daniel Owen
$9,045
Champion winner

Congrats to our 2023 St. Louis Champion of the Year

Ethan Schroeder

Raised $20,080 for Best Buddies in St. Louis

Champion winner
2023

Missouri: Kansas City

Ethan Schroeder
$20,080

Congrats to our 2023 Mountain Champion of the Year

Lloyd Lewis & Kennedy Lewis

Raised $31,248.93 for Best Buddies in Mountain

2023

Mountain (CO & UT)

Lloyd Lewis & Kennedy Lewis
$31,248.93
Jennifer Corriveau & James Masterson

Congrats to our 2023 New Hampshire Champion of the Year

Jennifer Corriveau & James Masterson

Raised $45,000 for Best Buddies in New Hampshire

Jennifer Corriveau & James Masterson
2023

New Hampshire

Jennifer Corriveau & James Masterson
$45,000
Angela Andrews & Holly Raymond

Congrats to our 2023 New Jersey Champion of the Year

Angela Andrews & Holly Raymond

Raised $23,339 for Best Buddies in New Jersey

Angela Andrews & Holly Raymond
2023

New Jersey

Angela Andrews & Holly Raymond
$423,339
Gracie Flanagan

Congrats to our 2023 New Mexico Champion of the Year

Gracie Flanagan

Raised $8,478 for Best Buddies in New Mexico

Gracie Flanagan
2023

New Mexico

Gracie Flanagan
$8,478
Kettle Ridge Farms

Congrats to our 2023 Western NY Champion of the Year

Kettle Ridge Farms

Raised $7,706 for Best Buddies in Western NY

Kettle Ridge Farms
2023

New York: Western NY

Kettle Ridge Farms
$7,706
Caroline Orr & Teagan

Congrats to our 2023 Albany Champion of the Year

Caroline Orr & Teagan

Raised $9,500 for Best Buddies in Albany

Caroline Orr & Teagan
2023

New York: Albany

Caroline Orr & Teagan
$9,500
Sarah Richardson

Congrats to our 2023 North Carolina Champion of the Year

Sarah Richardson

Raised $45,000 for Best Buddies in North Carolina

Sarah Richardson
2023

North Carolina

Sarah Richardson
$45,000
Katie Kilmek

Congrats to our 2023 Ohio Champion of the Year

Katie Kilmek

Raised $65,00 for Best Buddies in Ohio

Katie Kilmek
2023

Ohio: Cleveland

Katie Kilmek
$65,000
Alex Rogers & Sharla Thomas

Congrats to our 2023 Columbus Champion of the Year

Alex Rogers & Sharla Thomas

Raised $20,000 for Best Buddies in Columbus

Alex Rogers & Sharla Thomas
2023

Ohio: Columbus

Alex Rogers & Sharla Thomas
$20,000
Champion winner

Congrats to our 2023 Oklahoma Champion of the Year

Kelsey O’Halloran

Raised $78,432 for Best Buddies in Oklahoma

Champion winner
2023

Oklahoma

Kelsey O'Halloran
$78,432
Kendall Campbell

Congrats to our 2023 Oregon Champion of the Year

Kendall Campbell

Raised $44,000 for Best Buddies in Oregon

Kendall Campbell
2023

Oregon

Kendall Campbell
$44,000
Ashley Long

Congrats to our 2023 Philadelphia Champion of the Year

Ashley Long

Raised $9,159 for Best Buddies in Philadelphia

Ashley Long
2023

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia

Ashley Long
$9,159
Chelsea Beaufort

Congrats to our 2023 Pittsburgh Champion of the Year

Chelsea Beaufort

Raised $16,956 for Best Buddies in Pittsburgh

Chelsea Beaufort
2023

Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh

Chelsea Beaufort
$16,956
Tina Gulledge

Congrats to our 2023 South Carolina Champion of the Year

Tina Gulledge

Raised $142,588 for Best Buddies in South Carolina

Tina Gulledge
2023

South Carolina

Tina Gulledge
$142,588
Steph DeSantis

Congrats to our 2023 Nashville Champion of the Year

Steph DeSantis

Raised $105,745 for Best Buddies in Nashville

Steph DeSantis
2023

Tennessee: Nashville

Steph DeSantis
$105,745
Jordyn Ensell & Juliette Molloy

Congrats to our 2023 Houston Champion of the Year

Jordyn Ensell & Juliette Molloy

Raised $83,975 for Best Buddies in Houston

Jordyn Ensell & Juliette Molloy
2023

Houston

Jordyn Ensell & Juliette Molloy
$83,975
Donny & Tysen Churchman

Congrats to our 2023 North Texas Champion of the Year

Donny & Tysen Churchman

Raised $19,973 for Best Buddies in North Texas

Donny & Tysen Churchman
2023

Texas: North Texas

Donny & Tysen Churchman
$10,995
Kate Avery & Laura Avery

Congrats to our 2023 Central Texas Champion of the Year

Kate Avery & Laura Avery

Raised $74,360 for Best Buddies in Central Texas

Kate Avery & Laura Avery
2023

Texas: Central Texas

Kate Avery & Laura Avery
$74,360
Courtney Block

Congrats to our 2023 Washington Champion of the Year

Courtney Block

Raised $45,000 for Best Buddies in Washington

Courtney Block
2023

Washington

Courtney Block
$45,000
Dave & Reilly Donovan

Congrats to our 2023 Washington, DC Champion of the Year

Dave & Reilly Donovan

Raised $64,850 for Best Buddies in Washington, DC

Dave & Reilly Donovan
2023

Washington, DC

Dave & Reilly Donovan
$64,850
Don Weber & Jacob Borkin

Congrats to our 2023 Wisconsin Champion of the Year

Don Weber & Jacob Borkin

Raised $21,000 for Best Buddies in Wisconsin

Don Weber & Jacob Borkin
2023

Wisconsin

Don Weber & Jacob Borkin
$21,000

Know someone who might make a great Champion? Nominate them below!