Lisa and Holly

2012 Spirit of Friendship Award winners
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

Lisa Blenkhorn and Holly Howden first met in the fall of 2008 through the Best Buddies chapter at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. They bonded instantly and have become fast friends in the four years since then.

Holly and Lisa talked about their friends, families and favourite extracurricular activities. They’ve done lots of fun stuff together: painting pottery, attending cooking classes and putting their skills to use at baking parties. They’ve also gone to the movies, hockey games and concerts together. They just love to spend time hanging out and having fun.

Holly encouraged Lisa to study hard in school, and Lisa supported Holly in her many athletic pursuits and social endeavours. Lisa also encouraged Holly to pursue her goal of finding a job.

Lisa initially got involved in the program as a way to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but she was not prepared for how much she would benefit and grow from her experience with Best Buddies. Lisa’s involvement with Best Buddies and her friendship with Holly helped her decide that a career in Occupational Theory is exactly what she wants to do in her life.

Lisa said: “It has been both a joy and a privilege to be Holly’s friend after all these years. It is a friendship I can truly say is grounded on mutual support, kindness and fun! Although I’m nearing the end of my student career, I fully intended on continuing to invest in our friendship. Holly is such an inspiration and source of encouragement, with her energetic and optimistic attitude and desire to enjoy the simple things of life. I have so many fond memories of our times spent together, and I look forward to all future enjoyable and memorable events! Most of all, I am eagerly anticipating the ways in which Holly and I will spur each other on toward our goals and life dreams. No matter where Holly and I are at in our lives, I know we will be there for one another. Holly has been an absolute blessing in my life, and I am so thankful to Best Buddies for facilitating our friendship!”

Holly added: “I enjoy every moment we spend together. It’s nice to know that I have someone in my life that cares about me, and is interested in me…and Harry Potter! I am looking forward to having Lisa as a best friend for a very long time!”

Although Lisa is graduating from university, and from the Best Buddies program, Lisa and Holly are committed to continuing their friendship. No matter where they are in their lives, they will be there for each other.

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