Oh gnome they didn’t!
Best Buddies paints gnomes at local news stations and raises money for their Prom
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Over the course of four days, a few members of the Best Buddies Oakton program visited four local news stations, 94.7 Fresh FM, WJLA ABC 7, Fox 5 News, and WUSA 9 News. All four students, with their Buddy, had their own day to visit a different station. They got to meet the cast and crew of the station, plan and paint garden gnomes with the news anchors, and get to tour each studio.
Best Buddies Oakton got the opportunity to visit the news stations through the Capital Region of the organization. Because of their partnership with the Capital Remodel and Garden Show, who is helping to sponsor the Capital Region Prom, the Capital Region thought it would be a great way to bring a crowd by having local celebrities raffle gnomes off, where the proceeds would go towards the Prom. The Oakton chapter of Best Buddies was then invited to help paint the gnomes with the news anchors to show the community what the proceeds of the gnome raffle is going towards.
Each buddy pair was at the news station for two to three hours. They got to learn more about the news stations they visited, and some of them had even more special moments with their visits. Jay Choi and his buddy Danny Engels (11) visited WJLA ABC7 last week, and one of Choi’s idols is the chief meteorologist Doug Hill. During his visit, Choi was able to meet Hill and make one of his dreams a reality. Other buddy pairs that went were Edwin Miller and Nate Brodsky (12), who visited WUSA 9 News and Katie Nelson, Savannah Forrest, and Sasha Grossman (12), who visited 94.7 Fresh FM.
Ms. Sascha Reed, a Special Education teacher at Oakton, said that the exposure Best Buddies got on the news is a great way to show how great the Oakton chapter is. “Any press for an organization like Best Buddies is good press,” said Ms. Reed. Having the chapter on the news and painting the gnomes together with the news anchors was a great way to get word out about the organization and possibly inspire other schools to start a program or get involved with an existing program at their school.
Ms. Reed also noted that the experience for the Buddies behind the scenes educated the anchors on the organization. The anchors took the time to show the students around and get to know them with the brief time they had together; some were even impressed with the close relationships the Buddies had. “The WUSA 9 News anchors were so impressed with Nate’s and Edwin’s friendship that they might want to come to Oakton and follow up with them,” Ms. Reed said.
The Buddies had a great time on the show and learning more about the stations they visited. The raffle for the gnomes ended on Feb. 26 at the Dulles Expo Center, and all of the proceeds are going towards funding for the Best Buddies Capital Region Prom in June.
*Pictures will be added shortly.*