Aug. 10, 2005
Lisa Cunningham, actress Maureen McCormick, Dennis McCormick, and Sarah Henderson at Best Buddies conference in Bloomington, Ind.
Lisa Cunningham of Anthon, Iowa, was a keynote speaker at the 16th Annual National Best Buddies Leadership Conference held July 22-25, at Indiana University in Bloomington. She was also presented with the College Friendship of the Year award, which recognizes outstanding commitment by members to the Best Buddies program, and was invited by California First Lady Maria Shriver to attend the 17th Annual Best Buddies Ball held in October at the home of Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver in Potomac, Md.
Cunningham is a senior at Morningside College. She is the college buddy director of Morningside’s chapter of Best Buddies, established in 2004. The mission of Best Buddies Colleges is to provide an opportunity for college students to be matched in a one-to-one friendship with individuals who have intellectual disabilities. Morningside is a partner with Mid-Step Services, Inc. in Sioux City for the program.
During her presentation, Cunningham showed a two-minute video and a slide presentation featuring the Morningside Best Buddies chapter and spoke about how the program has had impact in her life.
More than 1,200 top high school and college student leaders from the United States and 16 foreign countries participated in this year’s National Best Buddies Leadership Conference. Participants discussed topics on social inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, leadership, communication, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and management, and facilitation of successful friendships and partnerships between students with and without intellectual disabilities.
Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies is an international organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,000 middle school, high school, and college campuses across the country and internationally.