GOAL buddies and vol­un­teers engage in hula hoop com­pe­tition. Olivia Hajicek | Collegian

The GOAL vol­unteer program hosted its first Buddy Olympics on Sat­urday afternoon at Hayden Park.

College vol­un­teers joined com­munity members with special needs for an afternoon of games and activities.

Teams of special needs buddies and Hillsdale student vol­un­teers rotated among three sta­tions, including relay races, vol­leyball, and freeze dance. 

However, when vol­leyball was rained out, buddy teams resorted to dancing in the rain. 

“Did you turn on the rain instead of the speakers?” one of the stu­dents joked to GOAL coor­di­nator Lucy Cuneo.

While some of the buddies and vol­un­teers went into the club­house, others stayed out and danced until everyone was called into the club­house for pizza.

“We just danced outside in the rain,” said vol­unteer and sophomore Mary Ann Powers. “It was a good time. We did a little Cupid Shuffle, a little Macarena. It was very fun. The energy was high.”

“Even though the rain pre­vented us from con­tinuing some of our activ­ities, everybody kept high spirits and great energy,” Powers said. “We ended up having a great time sitting out under the porch, talking and chatting with all the buddies and eating our pizza.”

“The event went really well,” said junior Griffin Johnston, who leads the Hillsdale Buddies GOAL program. “We all had a really good time even though it rained.”

The event ended with each of the 11 buddies receiving a certificate.

Two of the buddies, Justin Parker and Casey Mor­rison, said vol­leyball was their favorite part of the day. Lindsay Osborn, another one of the buddies, said she enjoyed dancing and eating cheese pizza. Osborn requested her team’s first freeze song to be “That’s What Makes You Beau­tiful” by One Direction. 

“I think my favorite part was dancing with the buddies at the freeze dance because it was such a beau­tiful way to connect with people and get them all riled up,” Powers said. “I really enjoyed con­necting with them in that way.”