Homecoming: Two Parties One Purpose Gala

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

November 1, 2024

6:00 PM | Washington, DC


Thank You!

Thank you for participating in this year’s Champion of the Year event! Because of you, we were able to raise funds to sustain and help expand our Best Buddies programs in the area. We look forward to having you at next year’s event. With your help and support, our mission of inclusion lives on!

Best Buddies Champion of the Year is a competitive fundraising campaign that unites and recognizes leaders of inclusion in local communities nationwide.

Champion Candidates commit to raising funds and awareness for Best Buddies throughout their campaign. Our Champions advocate for the Best Buddies mission and will generate countless opportunities for friendships, jobs, leadership development, inclusive living, and family support. At the Best Buddies Champion of the Year celebration, we honor the Champions’ collective impact and name the ultimate Champion of the Year!

Join us for the Homecoming: Two Parties One Purpose Gala, a special event dedicated to raising essential funds for Best Buddies programs in Virginia & Washington, DC. Taking place at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC, this gala promises an unforgettable evening of celebration and support.

Two Parties, One Purpose

  • Student Dance: Students will enjoy an exciting night with DJ 24/7, dancing, pizza, fun, and friendship. Taking place in the atrium, this event is the perfect opportunity to get dressed and enjoy an evening of Best Buddies!
  • Adult Party: Adult supporters will indulge in culinary delights crafted by local chefs and their Best Buddy Sous Chefs, along with delicious drinks and cocktails. Additionally, guests can participate in silent and live auctions featuring fantastic items from our community and beyond!


Celebrating Our Champions

We will honor our incredible Champion of the Year candidates, who have dedicated themselves to raising funds and awareness for Best Buddies. These Champions advocate for our mission, creating opportunities for friendships, jobs, and leadership development for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The evening will culminate in the announcement of the ultimate Champion of the Year for Virginia and Washington, DC.

Support and Impact

Our goal is to raise $260,000 to support local Best Buddies programs here in Virginia & DC. You can contribute by supporting a Champion’s campaign, purchasing tickets, becoming a corporate sponsor, or making a general donation.

Save the Date and Join Us!

We invite you to join us for a night filled with joy, excitement, and the spirit of friendship. Your participation will help us continue providing meaningful opportunities to individuals with IDD in our community. Don’t miss out on this fun, thrilling, and friendship-filled event!


  • The Student Dance is only open to Best Buddies High School and College Chapter members along with Best Buddies Jobs, Ambassadors or Citizens members up to age 22. No alcohol is allowed inside the student dance and no one under the influence will be allowed into the event.
  • The Adult Party is open to anyone over the age of 21 who would like to support our Best Buddies programs! There are a variety of levels available for access to the event. If you are a member of our Best Buddies programs and are in need of financial assistance, please email MarySchafhauser@bestbuddies.org to arrange.


Friday, November 1, 2024

Program for the Adult Party:
6:00pm-7:45pm: Silent Auction, Open Bar, Chef & Buddy Sous Chef Tasting Stations
8:00pm-10:00pm: Live Auction, Introduction of Champions, Diane Ray Brown Lifetime of Friendship Award sponsored by Tiffany & Co., Mission Moments & Naming of THE Champion of the Year.

Program for Student
Homecoming Dance:
6:00pm-10:00pm: Dancing, Music with DJ 24/7, Pizza, Games, Photo Booths and Fun!


Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004

Directions & Information for the Ronald Reagan Building
We recommend that everyone arrive via the 14th Street Entrance – view directions

Event Contact


Meet our Champion Candidates

Dave & Reilly Donovan

Congrats to our 2023 Washington, DC Champion of the Year

Rose, Dave & Reilly Donovan

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

Dave & Reilly Donovan

Washington, DC

Rose, Dave & Reilly Donovan

A Glimpse of the Party...

Homecoming champions gala
Homecoming Lee and Leonard
Homecoming walking tall
Homecoming celebrating champions
Homecoming what a night
Homecoming Everyone together
Homecoming Having a great time
Homecoming Dance Friends
Best Buddies Logo

Why Participate...

All funds raised benefit Best Buddies – the largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people worldwide with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Our programs empower people with IDD to form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure jobs, improve communication and advocacy skills, and live independently, while also offering support for their families.

The IDD community that Best Buddies serves individuals with IDD and their families. The IDD community includes, but is not limited to, people with Down syndrome, autism, Fragile X, Williams syndrome, and other undiagnosed disabilities.

We Love our Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsor

TCMA International Trade Center Sponsor Logo

Signature Sponsor

Additional Sponsors

For sponsorship opportunities and other event inquiries, please contact: