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Running for Best Buddies

The Standard Times - 7/24/2019

Jul. 24--SOMERSET -- Jackie Rosario is preparing to run in the Falmouth Road Race to raise money for Best Buddies.

"I wanted to do it because my brother has a disability and seeing him struggle to make friends really inspired me," Jackie said. "The money goes back to Best Buddies that helps people like him make friendships."

Best Buddies is the world's largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization helps people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities to form friendships, get jobs, become leaders and live independently.

Jackie said she is up to running four miles in her training. The Falmouth Road Race is a seven-mile-long race that is the second most prestigious race in Massachusetts behind just the Boston Marathon. The race attracts a world class field of runners. Jackie said she finds quiet places to do her running.

"I'm hoping to run it in around an hour and 15 minutes," Jackie said.

Jackie is a member of the Somerset Berkley Regional High School field hockey team that does a lot of running. She has run the BJ Voss five kilometer road race and a five mile road race at Edaville Railroad. She has also been on the Unified track and field team at SBRHS.

Jackie's goal was to raise at least $750 for Best Buddies through running the Falmouth Road Race. She has raised $1,500 so far. Those who would like to donate to Best Buddies in honor of Jacquelyn's run can go to the link https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/best-buddies7/jackierosario.

Jackie said she is dedicating each mile of the road race to someone with a disability, whether it is someone she knows at school, a family member or others.

Jackie said Best Buddies has helped her brother a lot and has helped the two of them to be closer as they have gone to different events for Best Buddies together.

"I think it's a good organization because kids with disabilities struggle with making friends," Jackie said. "This gives a chance to make more friends and to have their voice heard and people, like us, see that and want to make the world more inclusive."

Jackie is going into her senior year at Somerset Berkley Regional High School. Tim, who has an intellectual disorder that is caused by seizures, is 21 years old. The high school used to have a Best Buddies chapter, but no longer does. Jackie said she hopes SBRHS can bring back a Best Buddies chapter in the future. Tim is involved with Best Buddies as an ambassador and attended the organization's national leadership conference over the weekend. As an ambassador, he shares his stories as a guest speaker.

Tim said that his sister running the road race to raise money for Best Buddies means the world to him and his buddies because "inclusion lives here," which he said was the theme of the leadership conference he attended. He said he will be at the race to root her on.

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(c)2019 The Standard-Times, New Bedford, Mass.

Visit The Standard-Times, New Bedford, Mass. at www.southcoasttoday.com

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