Wendling honored as Best Buddies Indiana Champion of the Year

Friday, November 28, 2014
North Putnam and DePauw graduate Kacy Wendling celebrates after being named the 2014 Champion of the Year by Best Buddies Indiana. (Courtesy photo)

INDIANAPOLIS -- A former Putnam County resident and graduate of both North Putnam High School and DePauw University was recently honored by the Best Buddies Indiana program.

Kacy Wendling was named the 2014 Champion of the Year during the recent Best Buddies Indiana dinner and awards banquet at The Mansion at Oak Hill in Carmel.

She was chosen from among 13 candidates who put forth incredible effort to support friendship and inclusion for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Individually, Wendling raised more than $12,500 for her campaign in support of Best Buddies Indiana. Her dedication and commitment to spread the awareness about the mission of Best Buddies was and continues to be inspiring.

Champion of the Year is an eight-week fundraising competition, featuring a select group of professionals and ambassadors. These philanthropic trailblazers compete to raise the most funds for Best Buddies Indiana and earn the Champion of the Year title.

The awards banquet was built upon inclusive friendship in celebration of the passionate efforts of 12 young professionals. This inaugural year for the Best Buddies Indiana Champion of the Year was a great success with more than $45,000 raised in support of statewide programs.

"Our 2014 Champion of the Year, Kacy Wendling, organized several fundraising events and secured individual donations and corporate sponsorships all of which contributed to her efforts," State Director Natalie Seibert said. "She worked diligently and showed a lot of dedication to our mission through her efforts and we are very grateful for her hard work and passion for Best Buddies."

Best Buddies Indiana began in 2002 and has expanded its reach since then with 15 college programs, 50 high school programs and 23 middle school programs that support more than 4,000 individuals in Indiana.

Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies is an international organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,300 middle school, high school and college campuses across the country and internationally.

Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of the 50 United States. It has also accredited international programs on six continents with additional country programs under active development.

Its six formal programs -- Best Buddies Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies and Jobs -- positively impact more than 350,000 individuals. Best Buddies has a strong presence within Indiana with 65 middle school, high school and college chapters located throughout the state including such campuses as DePauw University and Wabash University.

For more information or for a full listing of Indiana schools that offer Best Buddies, visit www.bestbuddiesindiana.org.

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