Linda Smith, associate executive director of Opportunity Village, and her husband, John Wasserburger, hosted a late- afternoon fundraising party at their Paradise Valley home recently for Best Buddies, one of the world's largest nonprofit organizations for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Best Buddies was founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, President John F. Kennedy's sister and founder of Special Olympics. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who died in 2009, was a board member of Best Buddies and hosted an annual ball for the organization in her home.
Anthony Shriver was in Las Vegas last month to thank supporters of this program and to encourage more people to get involved.
Best Buddies has six distinct programs that engage participants in each of the 50 states, as well as in 44 countries extending across six continents.
Shriver spoke about how this global volunteer movement creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Opening the party, local Best Buddies board members Jim McGinnis and Hugh McAllister greeted dedicated supporter Marie Mundy and guests Wendy Hornbuckle, Joan and Jim Hammer, and Darlene and Cliff Miller.
Other supporters and guests in attendance were Bernie Yuman, Sam Lieberman, Carrie Henderson, Jennifer and Rusty Miller, Jeremy Cooper, Denise Kessler, Mark Keller and Mike LaRud.
Entertainment was provided by Best Buddies Mike Carlo on the keyboard and songs by Vanessa Stegall.
Seen among the crowd were Ty Tomak, Kim Mundson, Heidi Jacobson, Bob Fowler, Brian Mullin, Dave Grossman, Dan Cook, Joanie and Sydney MacIntosh, Jen Jenkin, Lenny Perry, Don Schmidt, Glenn Smith, Cary Harned, and Best Buddies Development Director David Clark and Best Buddies State of Nevada Director Jason Smith.