November 13th, 2008. New York City. Best Buddies Israel
held a celebration onboard the Forbes' private yacht "The Highlander" at
Pier 60, Chelsea Piers. Guests were treated to cocktails, and a
beautiful sail around Manhattan while dining.
I learned about Best Buddies last spring when my friend Tatiana Platt
was honored at The Crystal Pavilion in Palm Beach. I attended on her
behalf and met many wonderful humanitarians including Mike Marcus, Best
Buddies Vice President of National Marketing. Mike kept me informed
about the progress of Best Buddies, I think it is an amazing charity
that has grown rapidly. It's speed in touching individuals lives for the
positive amazes me.
Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies is dedicated to
enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by
providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated
Anthony visited Israel in 2006. As a result, Best Buddies is now
bringing its model for friendship and employment programs to Israel. If
funding goals are achieved a job program will be initiated in 2009.
There are an estimated 280,000 Israelis with intellectual disabilities
who will benefit from the much needed programs Best Buddies will
Mission Statement: Best Buddies is a vibrant, international organization
that has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,400 middle
school, high school, and college campuses across the country and
internationally. Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of
the 50 United States and have accredited international programs on six
continents with additional country programs under active development.
There are six formal programs – Best Buddies Middle Schools, High
Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e -Buddies and Jobs – it will positively
impact more than 350,000 individuals this year. Best Buddies volunteers
annually contribute services to the community that equate to more than
$70 million USD.
Goal: Even though Best Buddies has advanced tremendously in our short
existence, many areas of the country and many regions of the world still
lack programs to help people with intellectual disabilities become part
of mainstream society. Our goal is to continue expanding nationwide and
at the local community level, while more broadly engaging the global
community through our programs.
coverage by Sara Herbert-Galloway
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