Students with disabilities dance the night away at Best Buddies Ball

- LEHI, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Over 200 students with disabilities danced the night away at the annual Best Buddies Ball in Lehi.

The event was held at the XANGO Headquarters on 2889 W. Ashton Boulevard.

Best Buddies Utah plans the event each year with XANGO. The organization aims to provide friendship and support for people with disabilities by pairing adults with special needs students.

Best Buddies Utah serves 11 high schools and 4 universities across the Wasatch Front from Logan to Provo.

Amanda Belnap, a Riverton High School sophomore, is a special needs varsity cheerleader.

“It’s really special for them to dress up and feel special,” Mellani Belnap, Amanda’s mother, said. “I’m really grateful as a parent.”

Amanda shopped for a new dress and new shoes with her parents.

“It’s nice to see the good in humanity and how they look out for those that need special assistance,” Brett Belnap, Amanda’s father, said.

The dance is a rare chance for students to socialize with other friends in the community. Many times people with disabilities are isolated and lonely.

Jason Olsen, a special needs college student at the University of Utah, loves the organization.

“Best Buddies is a great thing,” Olsen said. “It’s to impact lives on people that may not have as many friends or chances to get out in the community.”

For more information on Best Buddies, click here.

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