What's New at Best Friends?

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The Return of Backyard Buddies

Backyard Buddies aims to bring children together with caring adult mentors and is a collaborative program with Neenah Joint School District, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah and Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha. Team members from Children’s Hospital and ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah are matched with a student at Roosevelt Elementary or Alliance Charter School – just across the street (or in their backyard) from the medical complex.  Buddies meet once a week during the school year at lunch, to learn, create, read books, play games, practice spelling and math and just hang out.  Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha coordinates the program.


“We are very excited to offer the Backyard Buddy program again.  We saw real impact from the program last time.  Kids have more confidence and really like having another person that cares about them”, said Diane Luft, Principal at Alliance Charter and Roosevelt elementary schools.


 Ryan Sterkenburg

Ryan Sterkenburg

Welcome our Newest Board Members

Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha is excited to welcome two new members to our board of directors.  James Kilsdonk, vice president of Commercial Banking at Old National Bank, Appleton enjoys golf, camping, cars and time with his wife and 1-year old twin boys. He serves our community in many ways and we are so happy his talents will help move our mission forward.


Ryan Sterkenburg, vice president, personal trust manager with Associated Bank has also joined the board. Ryan is a member of the Fox Cities Morning Rotary and has served on the Scholarship committee for Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. Ryan and his wife reside in Neenah, have two grown children and enjoy camping, golf and evening walks with their dog Jack.

 James Kilsdonk

James Kilsdonk


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Best Friends Shirts are Here!

Help support youth mentoring and get the chance to show off your Best Friend’s pride! This is a PREORDER item only. Available for $10/shirt in both Adult and Child sizes. Payment MUST be received before order will be processed. Click HERE to preorder yours today!