Junior Sadie Stokes’ Facebook status after the Best Buddies Talent Show had five thank yous, five heart emojis, 11 crying face emojis and 12 exclamation marks.
“I could not be more happy than I am right now,” she said in the status.
Stokes, the college’s Best Buddies chapter president, decided to plan and host a talent show at Franklin College this year after hearing about other chapters having them nationwide.
“We have so many Buddies who love to sing, dance, perform, play instruments and just love being in the spotlight,” she said. “I knew this year it would be perfect to start.”
Tuesday’s show raised $233 for Best Buddies International, which aims to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by giving them opportunities for socialization and employment.
The 101 students and family members in the audience was double the number Stokes expected. She said it shows how inclusive and supportive Franklin College students can be.
“Seeing the room keep filling up with people from all different groups on campus made me so happy,” she said. “Of course, seeing all the Buddies so happy after they made the leap of getting up on stage — some out of their comfort zone — and performing was incredible.”
Students interested in getting involved in the organization can email Stokes at alexis. firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Best Buddies booth at the activities fair next semester. Those interested in making a monetary donation can visit www.bestbuddies.org.
“For our first show, I could not have asked for more,” she said.