Igor Makarov And Best Buddies Ride To Empower The IDD Community

Igor Makarov And Best Buddies Ride To Empower The IDD Community

Makarov – Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies is an international not-for-profit organization that volunteers to boost the positive social, physical, and economic well-being of people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). They have a global volunteer strategy to create opportunities for one-to-one friendships, leadership development, inclusive living, and integrated employment opportunities among IDDs.

What Best Buddies Is Known For?

Best Buddies offer numerous programs to help the IDD community, including:

Friendship Programs

This program entails building friendships between individuals with and without IDD through social interactions. People meet with members of the IDD community to boost their self-esteem and confidence, share life experiences and participate in activities together. They foster interactions between college, middle school, high schools, citizens, and online through the e-Buddies ® platform.

Jobs Program

The program allows people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to access jobs, enabling them to earn income, pay taxes, and afford to support themselves.

Leadership Development Programs

These programs help individuals with IDD gain leadership skills to become future public speakers, leaders, and advocates.

The Living Program

Best Buddies has two residences in Washington DC, one in Miami, FL, and another in Los Angeles, CA. While at the residences, people with and without IDD get an integrated experience of living independently in an environment suitable for learning, growing, and thriving.

23rd Annual Best Buddies Miami Gala

In 2019, Best Buddies organized a Gala event in Miami to recognize the united efforts of volunteers, partners, sponsors, and the communities they support. Approximately 850 renowned international and local guests, including sports figures, CEOs, and political dignitaries. The Gala featured an auction activity for unique items such as the Classic Fusion Best Buddies Limited Edition, a custom portrait crafted by Brazilian artist Romero Britto.

During the event, Mr. Anthony K. Shriver honored Ed Ansin, founder and CEO of Sunbeam Television Corporation, with 2019’s Spirit of Leadership Award. Mr. Ansin received this accolade for donating approximately $2,000,000. He also mobilized his company’s employees to volunteer and fundraise for Best Buddies. Also, Ed Ansin recruited individuals with disabilities to his media company, through Best Buddies’ jobs program. Proceeds from the 23rd Annual Best Buddies Miami Gala event were channeled to various organizational projects helping people with and without IDD across the globe.

Makarov Foundation Supports Best Buddies

The Makarov Foundation was established by Igor Makarov, a renowned Cyprus businessman, philanthropist, and former professional cyclist. The organization’s mission is to improve people’s lives, courtesy of its gifts and grants to non-profit entities that focus on areas such as autism and people with IDD.

In November 2019, Best Buddies invited Makarov Foundation and Mr. Makarov to participate in a cycling event for a good cause of promoting the mission to create opportunities for one-to-one friendships, leadership development, integrated employment, and inclusive living.

The event was called The Hublot Best Buddies Challenge: Miami. Many volunteers, including Mr. Makarov, cycled to the 70-mile finish line. Mr. Makarov commented, “In this difficult world that we live in, there are people that are less fortunate than us that need our support and it is our responsibility to help as much as we can, and Best Buddies provides supporters the opportunity to do so.”

Mr. Makarov was honored to do his part in extending Best Buddies’ reach globally and making a meaningful impact in the lives of individuals with special abilities, alongside many other generous sponsors and donors.


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