2015 Scholarship & Spirit of Friendship

Friday, November 13th, 2015

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2015 James Raymond Cowling Foundation Scholarship

High School- Steven Tomlinson

Steven Tomlinson is the Best Buddies’ James Raymond Cowling High School Scholarship winner for 2015! Steven was involved with Best Buddies at St. Jean De Brebeuf in Vaughan for seven years, advocating for all of the Buddies in his school. He wore his Best Buddies shirt proudly as he invites everyone in the chapter to every meeting, making sure voices and opinions by everyone in the chapter are heard. Steven has also been involved with some of Best Buddies biggest events, taking part in our annual Leadership and Development Conference, as well as volunteering at the 2015 Thrill of the Ascot fundraiser that raised $375,000 for Best Buddies. Since graduating from Brebeuf in June, Steven attends Centennial College and is studying computer programming. Through Best Buddies, Steven has developed the confidence and leadership skills to do anything he sets his mind to. Great job Steven!

University- Katie McKay

For 2015, our James Raymond Cowling University Scholarship winner is Katie Mackay from St. Catharines. Katie has been involved with the Brock Best Buddies chapter, serving as Chapter President for the last two years. In her time with the club, Best Buddies has become one of the biggest and most recognizable campus groups at Brock, getting involved with everything from the Santa Claus Parade, Spread the Word to End the Word, and yearly food drives. It certainly doesn’t stop there: Katie has given multiple TV and newspaper interviews, lobbied Mayor Walter Sendzik to raise the Best Buddies flag for the month of March at St. Catharines’ City Hall, and was involved in raising $4,000 to sustain her chapter for years to come. Also this year, Katie was recognized as Volunteer of the Year by Brock University for her work with Best Buddies. Most importantly, Katie has been part of a lasting, genuine friendship with her Buddy Carla, with whom she has dinner each week. Thank you, Katie, for leaving an indelible mark on Best Buddies at Brock!

2015 Spirit of Friendship Award Winners

Mia Belluz and Mackenzie Stewart

Best Buddies Canada is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014/15 Spirit of Friendship Award, Mia Belluz and Mackenzie Stewart of Dundas, ON.  The two young ladies have been Best Buddies for four years and have spent that time building a friendship that will last a lifetime.  Their genuine connection and the strong bond they share is obvious when you hear the belly laughs from inside jokes and stories they share and see the giant smiles they put on each other’s faces.

Mia and Mackenzie began their friendship with lunches in the cafeteria at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School.   Not long after, the two Justin Beiber fans attended school dances, sleepovers, sweet sixteen parties and a ONE DIRECTION concert.

Mackenzie recently graduated from high school but stays in contact and get together regularly.  Although they no longer see each other every day at school, Mia and Mackenzie believe they will remain true friends forever.  Mia says she loves Mackenzie because she is always happy.  Mackenzie says, “Mia will always be in my life and when I think about our future, I see Mia as my bridesmaid.”

The friendship that has formed between Mia and Mackenzie encompasses the true meaning of friendship, and they have become ambassadors of the Best Buddies program.

Congratulations Mia and Mackenzie!

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