Best Buddies International, a groundbreaking nonprofit that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), is pleased to announce its 19th Annual Best Buddies Miami Gala at The Ice Palace Studios in Miami, FL, on Friday, November 20.

This year’s Gala will celebrate and highlight the organization’s student volunteer movement and school programs where the organization first began. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies International has grown from one original chapter to nearly 1,900 middle school, high school, and university campuses across the United States and 55 countries.

“I am so incredibly proud to celebrate Best Buddies’ student leaders and volunteers who are actively engaged in our school programs all across the globe,” says Anthony K. Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International. “As we continue to work to create friendships and employment opportunities for individuals with IDD, I look forward to watching a whole new generation of young leaders step up to the plate to guide us. I was only in my early 20s when all of this began, and I have never lost faith in the unlimited creativity, leadership, and power that young people have. We need many more of them to lead our movement as we progress into the future.”

This year’s Gala will also feature a fabulous cocktail hour, gourmet dinner, exclusive live and silent auctions and a special performance by musical guest and Best Buddies Global Ambassador Steve Aoki.

Each year, the Gala brings together Miami’s most notable residents and celebrities from around the globe. Among those expected to attend this year are: Gala Co-Chairs Jackie Soffer Robbins and Craig Robbins, Alina and Anthony K. Shriver; Actor John Lewis; Actress Vivica A. Fox; Former MLB Player Sammy Sosa; Pop Artist Romero Britto; Miss USA 2015 Olivia Jordan and Miss Teen USA 2015 Katherine Haik.

There will also be a number of one-of-a-kind items up for auction, including a limited edition Hublot Best Buddies Cycling Timepiece, a custom-made Cannondale Best Buddies EVO Bicycle, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to see the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, a one-of-a-kind Romero Britto Portrait, a luxurious trip to the Montage in Deer Valley in both ski season and the summer time with a total of 10 nights during two seasons, the ultimate vacation getaway on a 144 ft. yacht and a Starbase One Jet Card that allows you to fly private to your destination of choice within the continental United States.

The day’s festivities will kick-off bright and early with the Best Buddies Challenge: Miami, a 62-mile charity ride through the streets of the Magic City, led by Pro Cyclists George Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde, and Cameron Wurf. This world-class cycling event begins and ends at Marlins Park and is limited to just 50 riders. This ride features a Tour de France-style police escorted peloton with road and intersection closures, support vehicles, and three fully-stocked rest stops.

Sterling Foundation Management is the title sponsor of the event, with The Ferraro Law Firm as Exclusive Sponsor, and Carnival Cruise Line as the Presenting Sponsor. Other donors are Abdo Eick, & Meyers, Braman, Capital Trust Group, Compañía de elaborados de café, The GEO Group Foundation, Grupo RHUO, Klingman & Associates, FIJI Water, Mack Cycle and Fitness, Seminole Hard Rock & Casino, Sun Capital Partners, Tracfone Wireless, Wells Fargo, Watermill Institutional Trading, Mark Fisher, Christina Griffith, Nancy & Mark Holowesko, Jackie Soffer Robins & Craig Robins, Ron & Amira Simkins, Michele King Soffer & Don Soffer, Sandy & Tony Tamer and Denise & Walter Robinson. In-kind and Media sponsors are Aventura Worldwide Transportation Service, Courthouse Express, MadisonSouth, Romero Britto, Getty Images – Official Photography Sponsor of Best Buddies International, Niche Media – Premiere Magazine Sponsor of Best Buddies International, and Southern Wine and Spirits.

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