Fiona MacArthur Named Best Buddies in Maine 2023 Champion of the Year
Our 4th annual Champion of the Year Gala was a tremendous success, and we are proud to announce Fiona MacArthur as our 2023 Grand Champion! She and her Mission Partner, Payton Brown, set a Best Buddies in Maine record, raising well over $50,000 to support Best Buddies programs throughout the state.
Fiona MacArthur is a senior at Greely High School and has been involved in her school’s Best Buddies chapter since its beginnings. She and Payton have attended a number of school and state-wide Best Buddies events with their peers, and these young people are dedicated to making the future a better place for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD.) From our largest events like the annual Best Buddies Friendship Walk in Portland, to the small everyday moments in the hallways at school, Payton and Fiona are both Champions for equality and equity for their fellow students. Fiona took up the challenge to be a Champion as a way to solidify her dedication to inclusion. “I wanted to be a Champion this year to spread friendship across the state of Maine: that’s something that’s very important to me.”
Payton and Fiona were supported by an amazing network of parents, relatives, local business owners, peer students, friends of friends, and SO many more. It was truly a team effort, which is what Best Buddies is all about! The funds they raised will go directly towards making school a more welcoming environment for students with IDD across the state, and we couldn’t be prouder of these two students for taking the initiative to make a change in their community.
Best Buddies in Maine is incredibly grateful to all the 2023 Champions and Mission Partners for their incredible efforts to raise funds and awareness for the Best Buddies mission of inclusion. The 2023 Champion of the Year Gala raised more than $285,000 in essential funds to continue growing Best Buddies’ one-to-one friendship and leadership development programs across the state. We already can’t wait for next year!
About Champion of the Year: Best Buddies Champion of the Year is a competitive fundraising campaign that unites and recognizes the community’s most active leaders of inclusion. Champion Candidates commit to raising funds and awareness for Best Buddies over an 8–12-week campaign. Our Champions are advocates for the Best Buddies mission and will generate countless opportunities for friendships, jobs, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). At the campaign’s conclusion, we will celebrate at the Best Buddies Champion of the Year Gala to honor the Champions’ collective impact and name the ultimate Champion of the Year!
Want to nominate someone for the 2024 Champion of the Year season? Reach out to us at Maine@bestbuddies.org.