MIAMI (WSVN) - It was a fun morning at loanDepot Park in Miami, as the Best Buddies community and the 7News family came together to send a message of inclusion

Speaking with 7News on Saturday morning, Kristian Chima could hardly contain his excitement about being a part of the Ed Ansin Best Buddies Friendship Walk.

“Yes, I was so happy because this is the first time ever walking here at loanDepot Park, which is formerly known as Marlins Park,” he said.

The location of the event may have changed, but Best Buddies CEO Anthony Shriver said the mission of inclusion and acceptance is the same.

“It generates huge for us, for our community activities, supporting people with developmental disabilities, find them jobs, finding them mentors, finding them great competitive housing,” he said. “If we didn’t have the walk, if we couldn’t raise the money, we wouldn’t be able to provide all these great services.”

It’s a way to give support to people and families of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Chima, a Best Buddies Ambassador, said friendship is an important part of the equation.

“There was a time when I was in high school when I didn’t have any friends. Many times I felt very lonely, and that’s all changed up because of this awesome program,” he said.

7News anchor Craig Stevens served as the event’s emcee.

“I’m glad to be here with you once again,” he said.

Crowds filled loanDepot Park, not for a Miami Marlins game, but to support inclusion ina massive way.

Among those in attendance was Paul Magnes, general manager of WSVN.

It’s an important legacy for the children of the late Ed Ansin, Andy Ansin and James Ansin, the CEO and co-president of Sunbeam Television, the parent company of WSVN.

“I love Best Buddies. I love working with Anthony. I love his commitment, the good deeds that the organization did, and most all, we love walking,” said Andy.

“It’s great meet old friends, new friends and everyone getting together for a great casue, and we hope it continues for a long time to come, and we’re so happy to continue my dad’s legacy,” said James.

Part of that legacy is Best Buddies Ambassador Joshua Felder. He has been working with organization for 14 years. from middle school to collge and to the Citizens and Jobs Program.

“I used to be a very shy person, and ever since Best Buddies, life brought enjoyment inside of me,” he said. “I could do anything. I’m capable of doing everything I set my mind to.”

This year’s Ed Ansin Best Buddies Friendship Walk raised more than $300,000.

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