Soccer met philanthropy at the second annual Celebrity Soccer Match presented by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. The family-friendly star-studded fundraising event proudly supports Best Buddies, an organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The event featured seven-on-seven friendly matches with celebrities, athletes, models and buddies; children’s clinics run by La Liga, Concacaf and Inter Miami CF, halftime show by Miami HEAT Cheerleaders, awards and more.
Founded by Julianna Strout, North Bay Village Commissioner and Miss America contestant, who partnered with Alex Avellanet, Principal at BonVoix, Corp. and sports radio host, for this year’s Celebrity Soccer Match, the event is a passion project committed to raising awareness for the incredible work accomplished by Best Buddies. For the last decade, Strout has dedicated her time and resources to this organization and has successfully reactivated their employment program. Her counterpart, Avellanet, has played an integral role in large-scale city events working with major music artists, sports organizations and governmental entities.
In partnership with Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, Concacaf (The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) and Inter Miami CF (Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami) and The Beach Soccer Foundation, as well as ZeroFractal, an award-winning creative & technology agency, the matches took place beach-side at the North Beach Bandshell Sand-bowl.
The partnership between Celebrity Soccer Match and Best Buddies offers the first fully integrated Best Buddies employed sporting event. The mission is to promote a culture of sports inclusion, social responsibility and employment integration of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) as a way to make a positive impact in the communities.