The Buddy Club is an outreach group sponsored by the Special Olympics.
“Seeing the possibilities and not the disabilities,” is the club’s motto.
In 2014, Randall, Linda, and Randi Posten organized the Buddy Club in Jackson County.
The Posten’s felt the need to have a group where individuals with disabilities or special needs could meet to socialize, interact, or play games with others who have similar needs.
“We noticed there were no groups in this area for those with special needs once they graduated from high school,” Linda Posten said. “We wanted to start a group for the ones in the transition years, the years between graduation and their next step in life.”
The Postens attended a transition fair to help with ideas for the club. Vendors from locations in both Roane and Jackson Counties provided their assistance with different types of programs and activities for people with disabilities who are no longer in their school years.
The Buddy Club meets every week at the Jackson County Public Libraries – at the Ravenswood location on Mondays and on Thursdays at the Ripley location.
Members get to participate in Bingo, arts and crafts, Wii Bowling, and many other activities.
“Between the two groups, there are 20-22 members total,” Linda said.
“Some members come from Wood County and one comes in from Poca,” Randall Posten added.
One Saturday each month, both groups join together to celebrate birthdays of members for that particular month.
Every October or November the members are treated to a day of bowling in Parkersburg.
In the Spring there is a field day at Ripley High School for any member who wishes to participate.
All of the events, festivities, dinners, and parties for the Buddy Club members are free of charge thanks to the sponsorship of the Special Olympics.
Through the Special Olympics, the Buddy Club members are able to participate in sports such as bowling, basketball, swimming, and cheerleading as well.
Each year the Special Olympics hosts a dinner in Jackson County to thank the community and raise money to assist with future events.
“I love to see these individuals interacting with each other and helping one another out,” Linda Posten said. “Just to see them smile, makes this program all worth it.”