Best Buddies Rochester, Roca Climbing & Fitness host inclusive rock climbing event

(ABC 6 News) – Best Buddies International Rochester Citizens Chapter and Roca Climbing and Fitness hosted a fully accessible and free rock climbing event on Sunday.

The event was held in partnership with local volunteer and climbing enthusiast, Erik Cmiel.

Cmiel is part of Troop 82 of the Eagle Scouts, based in Rochester. His fellow climbers and scouts came together to help and support all the participants. Minnesota State Director of Best Buddies, Katey DeMarais, and the Rochester citizens lead volunteer, Emma Niemeyer, also helped make this event possible. 

The event was open to all, and individuals with and without disabilities were able to try climbing with help from trained and friendly staff. The event had food, t-shirts and we even got to see expert climber Erik show everyone how it is done!

Best Buddies Citizens pairs an adult with an intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) in a one-to-one friendship with an adult without IDD from their local community. Through the program, these two adults, called a buddy pair, develop a mutually enriching friendship, experience life together, and support each other when it’s needed most.

Best Buddies Citizens also offers group events to build community between all participants. This program helps individuals become more included in our community and builds the connection to friendship that can often be tough for people with IDD. 

For those interested in joining or learning more about Best Buddies Rochester Citizens program, CLICK HERE.