Reflections on BBLC Opening Ceremonies

I would hesitate before saying I went to Best Buddies Leadership Conference (BBLC) Opening “Ceremonies” last night. I think of ceremonies as rather formal, dry events where people give speeches and hand out awards. While that did happen, I don’t think “ceremonies” was the proper term for the night. It is much more likely we all attended the BBLC opening PARTY or CONCERT. Maybe I’m a BBLC rookie, but last night’s event was much too fun to be called a mere ceremony.


The fun started from the beginning, as each group entered the auditorium screaming, dressed in costumes, chanting, dancing, and doing the wave. They stopped only as the nights dimmed, and the first performer, singer Ben Wright, rose through the stage to perform his song “It Starts with a Voice.” That ended in thunderous applause, followed by speeches by Best Buddies celebrities Anthony Kennedy Shriver (AKS), Mollie Noble and Blake Long.

Then, we were treated to a cha-cha by dancers Marshal Rabe and Cassie Lacy, followed by our Outstanding Chapter awards and the biggest surprise of the night, Glee actress Lauren Potter! After that, the auditorium erupted for our repeat performers, the Kandoo Band.

The Band rocked the house, accompanying our stylish fashion show and a happy birthday song for AKS, putting the finishing touches on our party. Students rushed the aisles to dance in front of the stage and reach out to our performers. From my seat in the back, it looked like nothing short of a bona fide concert.

So although our schedules tell us we attended the BBLC Opening Ceremonies last night, if feels like a misnomer. We attended a full-blown LC party or concert, and it set the tone for the rest of our conference. Tomorrow, our schedules tell us we have closing ceremonies. We know it will be more than that.


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a typical son

two of us are tall and the other one of us is short and has Down syndrome

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Thought bubbles of inspiration, attempted humor, and most likely a lot of pictures and music. (WARNING: You are the only one reading this.)

Best Buddies Young Leaders Council

Educate, Engage, Empower.

michael crawley

Every person is an equal member of the human family.

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