Proceeds will Benefit Best Buddies Programs Across South Florida
Miami, Florida, Feb. 27, 2017— Best Buddies International, a groundbreaking nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is excited to announce the Best Buddies Friendship Walk in South Florida on Saturday, March 11 at Museum Park. The Best Buddies Friendship Walk in South Florida is the latest life-changing movement. Since 2009, more than 55,000 participants have walked in more than 26 states and three countries, raising more than $5 million for Best Buddies International.
“Our Friendship Walks are one of Best Buddies’ most celebrated events, bringing communities together where they can experience our mission in action and engage with our program participants,” said Anthony K. Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International. “It is so inspirational to see so much enthusiasm for the Best Buddies mission in South Florida. The participants significantly impact the lives of those with disabilities, and the employer partners in this community have empowered these individuals, and are actively making not just South Florida, but the world, a more inclusive place.”
The event will bring together some of South Florida’s most notable residents and celebrity supporters. Among those expected to attend this year includes Pop-Artist Romero Britto; Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine; Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; WSVN Anchor Craig Stevens, who will MC the walk, Miss Teen Florida and Miss Florida; and many more.
Best Buddies South Florida is proud to have 3,000 (and counting) participants lacing up their shoes to walk for inclusion, all working towards surpassing 2016’s fundraising goal. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the walk commences at 10 a.m. at Museum Park in Downtown Miami, 1075 Biscayne Boulevard. Following the walk, please join Best Buddies for a day of fun, family, fitness, and friendship.
During the event, Best Buddies International will recognize supporter Jan Risi as its 2017 honoree with the Spirit of Friendship Award for her many contributions to Best Buddies. She has employed a Best Buddies Jobs’ participant at Independent Purchasing Cooperative (IPC) for almost 5 years, and has consistently lead the largest walk team in the United States, and in the history of Best Buddies. By being an enthusiastic advocate for employing individuals with IDD, Mrs. Risi has proven herself to be a progressive leader in the movement to create a more inclusive work force here in South Florida.
In regards to the Best Buddies Jobs’ Program, Mrs. Risi stated: “What surprised me about hiring a person with IDD wasn’t that it was “good for the Buddy,” but that it accomplishes something in the workplace that people don’t expect to happen– a little magic happens within the entire company. Participation in Best Buddies Jobs’ creates a “esprit de corps” which is very tough to bring to your corporate culture. Our Buddy Jacob has probably contributed to that culture more than anything else I have done as CEO.”
Proceeds from the Friendship Walk are fundamental in supporting state programs that provide one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development. These programs can be found in all 50 states and will create promising opportunities for more than 350,000 people this year.
Walk for inclusion. Walk for friendship. Walk for a better South Florida.
This year’s Best Buddies Friendship Walk in South Florida sponsors include: Independent Purchasing Cooperative, Royal Media Partners, Starwood Property Trust, Holland & Knight, Mastercard, Celebrity Cruises, GrayRobinson, Turnberry Associates, Inktel, Value Store It, Tusk Ventures, Apollo Bank, Pension Services Inc., City of Hialeah, Willis Towers Watson, TUUCI, FedEx, and Nordstrom.
ABOUT BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL:
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 and leadership development 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 more than 2,100 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies’ eight formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies® , Jobs, Ambassadors, and Promoters — engage participants in each of the 50 states and in over 50 countries, positively impacting the lives of more than 1 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 on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit www.bestbuddies.org, facebook.com/bestbuddies or twitter.com/bestbuddies.
For more information about the Walk and Sponsorship Opportunities, please contact:
305.375.2233, ext. 211
For media inquiries (including requests for credentials):
305-374-2233, ext. 343