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Wauwatosa East High School art fair this weekend supports Best Buddies

May 13, 2014

Raising money for the Best Buddies club at Wauwatosa East High School, an arts and crafts fair Saturday, May 17, at the school will feature more than 35 vendors.

Vendors will be selling jewelry, hand-painted furniture, upcycled and recycled items and other crafts. One of the artists, Jewelry by Jaws, was born without arms and legs and makes jewelry with her mouth and shoulder.

"Her jewelry is phenomenal," said Yvette Plaisted, faculty adviser for Best Buddies. "It's all advocating for individuals with disabilities. We're working primarily with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but she really wanted to participate for the cause."

The Best Buddies club, which has chapters internationally, fosters relationships between students with disabilities and their peers. Plaisted said the money raised at the fair will help the students go on field trips and do activities together like going bowling or decorating cookies.

"It just gives them a chance to hang out and be a regular teenager," Plaisted said. "They feel included with the general population, and they get to meet people maybe sometimes they wouldn't be able to meet."

Another goal of the club is to help students with disabilities develop leadership skills and find career paths. Plaisted said many of the club members will be helping with the fair Saturday to learn about the work that goes into such an event.

It's the first time Best Buddies at East has put on an art fair, but Plaisted hopes it will be an annual event to support a club of growing interest.

"It's one of the most popular clubs at Wauwatosa East, and I think it's really helped the environment for the entire community," Plaisted said. "It's a neat environment at Tosa East. It's very open and accepting, and there are really a lot of people that want to get involved, and it's really opened a lot of people's eyes."

The fair will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the gyms at East High School, 7500 Milwaukee Ave.

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