Bradwell Institute’s Friends Helping Friends will host the 3rdAnnual Liberty County School System Special Needs Gala Saturday at 7p.m.
The dance portion of the gala is free and open to the public.
FHF was started three years ago by BI special needs teacher Charlie Moon. FHF is comprised of a large group of general education students that connect special needs students with their general education peers. They have raised $20,000 in the last 30 months, for events like this, a new sensory room, music therapy equipment, and many other fun events.
“FHF does so much for the special needs students. It really brings them out in their social skills. They become so much more comfortable around us all,” FHF Junior Danielle Hennessee said.
FHF Junior Jada Naftzinger said it’s a two-way street. “It not only helps them, but us as well. It brings us out of our own shells and comfort zones.”
Moon added, “For us, the Gala is not our calling card. I’ve told the students from day one, unless they truly know these special needs students, we won’t do the Gala at all. We’ll throw a big pizza party instead. The point is, we want the kids to really focus on the one-on-one, in-class work, hanging out in the halls, really talking to them. That’s the only way this program truly reaches its potential. Our motto is, “Changing lives, one friend at a time.”
During a private dinner which precedes the public dance, district office personnel, representatives from Congressman Buddy Carter’s office, district SPED staff, BI Football players and FHF members, parents and the honored guests – 50 special needs students from around the district will be in attendance.