One magical night

Julianna Bonnett
By Julianna Bonnett March 28, 2018 14:03

One magical night





University of Windsor students celebrated a magical night this past Saturday.

Close to 100 people showed up to the Best Buddies Fairytale Ball that took place on Saturday at St. Angela’s Merici Hall on Erie St. E. Best Buddies is an international organization that helps to create and foster friendships with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Best Buddies started a chapter at the University of Windsor and paired up with university students in early 2013.

For many, this was a fun filled night with Disney music, great food and even better decorations.

But for University of Windsor student, Kyla Dumlao, this event was more than that.

Dumlao started her experience with Best Buddies in high school, by bringing the chapter to her school.

In grade school, she was use to having inclusive classrooms where people living with disabilities shared in their daily school routine; in high school, it was completely different.

“Interacting with the students with disabilities was a huge driving force as to why I wanted to learn more about Best Buddies and bring it to my high school,” said Dumlao.

A bigger driving force for Dumlao to start the Best Buddies chapter in her school was her sister Shawna who has autism.

“She is truly my inspiration for everything and has taught me a lot about patience, taking in the moment, having less judgement of others and helping to spread more awareness to others,” said Dumlao.

Dumlao said her sister is the reason she does everything she can for Best Buddies, and works to build a friendlier and more inclusive community.

The Best Buddies Fairy Tale Ball celebrated its 4th annual gala and this year’s theme was Fairy-tale.

“This event means a lot to me. I am happy that I am part of such a huge event that impacts so much of Windsor. I hope with this event we can spread the word a bit more,” said VP of Logistics Asia McCallum.

McCallum said they offer many more fun events for their friends with Best Buddies but this is their biggest one. It is a celebration for everyone to enjoy.

Dumlao said when you meet someone with an intellectual or developmental disability, no one prepares you for the overwhelming, unconditional love that you receive.

“For someone to see you without the labels, without the stereotypes and without judgement, to see who you are and see past what most people see, is really a gift – and so rare if you think about it,” said Dumlao. “This is what the buddies do for us. They help us to look at life differently, to break down barriers, and to appreciate the simple things in life.”

Kyla Dumlao and Shawna Dumlao.

Julianna Bonnett
By Julianna Bonnett March 28, 2018 14:03

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