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23rd ANNUAL BEST BUDDIES MIAMI GALA Best Buddies Press Release/Vivienne Bardot


Celebrating Best Buddies International’s Mission of Inclusion and

Honoring Philanthropist Ed Ansin with the 2019 ‘Spirit of Leadership’ Award

MIAMI, November 15, 2019 – Best Buddies International, a global volunteer movement dedicated to creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), is thrilled to present its 23rd Annual Best Buddies Miami Gala at Mana Wynwood on Friday, November 22.

The 23rd Annual Best Buddies Miami Gala celebrates the Best Buddies mission and honors the dedication of supporters, participants and volunteers that help us create a more inclusive and accepting world. Guests will feast on a gourmet dinner, partake in a top-notch auction and witness a special musical performance by multi-platinum hip-hop artist Flo Rida!

This year, Best Buddies is proud to award Ed Ansin, co-founder, president and CEO, Sunbeam Television Corporation with the Spirit of Leadership Award, the highest Best Buddies accolade presented to distinguished luminaries who have shown great leadership, generosity and spirit in supporting the organization’s mission. Mr. Ansin remains involved in the day-to-day decision-making at WSVN in Miami and WHDH and WLVI in Boston. Over the past decade, Mr. Ansin has supported the Best Buddies mission by contributing close to $2 million in donations, providing more than $2 million in television media, inspiring his company’s employees to spend countless hours volunteering and fundraising, and hiring individuals with disabilities through the Best Buddies Jobs program at WSVN Channel 7.

“The Miami Gala is animmersive experience that honors the united efforts that make the Best Buddies mission possible,” said Anthony K. Shriver, founder, chairman & CEO of Best Buddies International. “This year’s Miami Gala will recognize our incredible milestones over the last 30 years and highlight the endless possibilities and potential of our organization and the inspiring and powerful community that we serve. We’re also proud to honor Ed Ansin with this year’s Spirit of Leadership Award. Ed has been a dedicated supporter and incredible advocate for our mission of inclusion and consistently shines a light on our cause which allows our participants to share their gifts and talent with the world.”

Each year more than 850 prominent local and international guests — including business leaders, political dignitaries, sports figures and celebrities — gather in Miami to celebrate Best Buddies.

The Gala will also feature one-of-a-kind items up for auction, including the Hublot’s third limited-edition and first women’s timepiece, Classic Fusion Best Buddies Limited Edition; a custom portrait by artist Romero Britto; and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of Dolce & Gabbana’s Ready to Wear show in Milan, Italy that includes a meet and greet with Mr. Dolce & Mr. Gabbana.

The celebration kicks off Friday morning with the Hublot Best Buddies Challenge: Miami presented by Abaco Wines, Braman Miami, Mack Cycle & Fitness, Makarov Foundation and Pepsi-Cola at Mr. C Hotel MiamiinCoconut Grove. The world-class 70-mile cycling event, limited to only 50 riders, features a premium experience with a police escorted peloton that will guide riders through the best waterfront locations Miami has to offer. The Challenge will be led by Tour de France winner Chris Froome, along with professional cyclists George Hincapie and Christian Vande Velde.

As a result of phenomenal support from generous sponsors and donors, Best Buddies is able to continuously extend its reach globally and will continue to develop its presence through its nine formal programs— Best Buddies Ambassadors, Citizens, Colleges, e-Buddies®, High Schools, Jobs, Middle Schools, Promoters and Inclusive Living — across the United States and in 56 countries and territories. Proceeds from the Challenge and Gala will allow Best Buddies to continue making a meaningful impact in the lives of individuals with special abilities on a global scale.

Sterling Foundation Management, The Ferraro Law Firm and Park West Foundation are the Friendship Sponsors of the event; Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, Cabinets to Go, Carnival Corporation & PLC, Carnival Foundation, Celebrity Cruises, The GEO Group Foundation, Inc., Sun Capital Partners Foundation, Inc., are the Employment Sponsors. Leadership Sponsors include Compañía de elaborados de café, ELCAFÉ, G. Marlyne Sexton, Sandy & Tony Tamer, Tracfone Wireless and WSVN 7News.

 The Best Buddies Challenge: Miami is presented by Hublot; other sponsors include Abaco Wines, Braman Miami, Mack Cycle & Fitness, Makarov Foundation, Pepsi-Cola, Seminole Hard Rock & Casino, and the Winter family.


Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to nearly 3,000 elementary school, middle school, high school, and college Friendship and Promoter chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies’ nine formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies®, Jobs, Ambassadors, Promoters and Inclusive Living— engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 56 countries and territories, positively impacting the lives of over 1.3 million people with and without disabilities around the world. In many cases, as a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live independently, become inspirational leaders and build lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit www.bestbuddies.org or connect with us via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

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