In partnership with The David and Nicole Tepper Foundation, this fundraising event gathered community representatives, CLTFC, Best Buddies staff and others to recognize local leaders of inclusion
CHARLOTTE, NC (Monday, November 13, 2023) - Best Buddies North Carolina hosted its 7th Annual Champion of the Year Gala at The Filmore last Friday, November 10. Mark Bodek, Charlotte FC Equipment Assistant and Best Buddies jobs participant, served as this year’s Gala keynote speaker.
As keynote speaker for the event, Mark Bodek shared his enthusiasm about his role with the team, and Charlotte FC was excited to have him represent the Club.
Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating integrated employment, leadership development and one-to-one friendship opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Champion of the Year Gala highlights the competitive fundraising efforts across the community that supports this work and recognizes the top fundraiser as the Champion of the Year.
In collaboration with The David and Nicole Tepper Foundation, Charlotte FC is a proud supporter of Best Buddies.
“At Charlotte FC, we want to be an inclusive and great place to work,” shares Joe LaBue, CLTFC President. “Through Best Buddies, we were able to find Mark who wanted to work in this industry and needed that opportunity.”
Since joining the team, Mark has played an important role as an Equipment Assistant and has blossomed into his role.
“I have really seen him grow in confidence and belonging,” shared Katie Calton from Best Buddies. “I think there’s a great culture at Charlotte FC where he has been welcomed and people have really taken the time to get to know him as a person. From day one, he has felt like a valuable member of his team.”
Mark echoed this sentiment as he reflected on his time with the Club so far. “I love the job. It’s been the best job I have ever had... Everyone I work with has been really helpful, friendly and polite. I have felt very welcomed from day one.”
In 2021, The David and Nicole Tepper Foundation helped start the Best Buddies North Carolina jobs program and continues to support the organization in numerous ways.