Best Buddies Miami 2016

We were in Miami this past weekend attending the Best Buddies gala.  Best Buddies is a non-profit that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with friendships, jobs, and leadership development.  The annual gala in Miami is always a fun event to attend—both in terms of helping a very worthy cause and because Miami has some of the best people watching ever.
This year’s theme was rock-and-roll.  There were Michael Jackson and Prince impersonators who were quite talented.  There was also Guns ’n’ Roses impersonators, which we had to ask about as neither of us were ever Guns ’n’ Roses fans.



Bohemian rhapsody


Santana’s surf & turf

Elton's piano

Elton’s piano

There were several celebrities attending, but the one I got a photo with is Nolan Gould, who plays Luke in “Modern Family.”  He is a super nice kid, very personable and low-key.

Kesha was the entertainment, and while her voice leaves something to be desired, she puts on a fun show.  She also was quite lovely to talk to.  I especially like her since she admired my necklace (which is a piece of meteorite).
The weather was perfect—around 80 degrees and breezy.  We spent some of the weekend going to the Wolfsonian, a museum specializing in propaganda materials (seems somehow very apt right now) and walking through one of the outdoor malls.

We also had a tremendous meal at Bazaar, one of Jose Andres’s restaurants, but more about that in a later blog post.

Best Buddies Miami 2014

In case you hadn’t noticed, fall is a busy time for us. 🙂 We traveled down to Miami for the Best Buddies gala, which was held on November 21. Best Buddies is a non-profit organization that helps developmentally disabled folks by providing them with friendships, jobs, and leadership training.

We flew down on Friday morning. Our exchange student and our 13 year old son flew down with some friends Friday night. Our 16 year old daughter was at a math meet in Princeton. (If you ever want to blow people’s minds, especially at a fancy smancy charity event, you tell people exactly that—that she chose a math meet over Miami for the weekend. Love my daughter!!)

This year’s gala was held at the Fontainebleau Hotel with a Southeast Asia theme. It was a huge success. The event raised over $2 million—a phenomenal amount!

Best Buddies Miami 2014

Best Buddies Miami 2014

Since the gala was Friday night, we stayed the weekend. Saturday wasn’t an ideal Miami day—it was quite windy and overcast, although it never rained. Nonetheless, it was still forty degrees warmer than where we had been, so no one was complaining. We played by the pool and then went walking around South Beach to show our exchange student what it was all about. Our son later solemnly informed us that he did not think South Beach was age appropriate for him. 🙂

Sunday was much more typical Miami weather, and we caught a few hours of sunshine before heading back to DC. It was a very relaxing weekend as we now brace for the chaos known as the holiday season!

Miami in November

Miami in November

You can find out more about Best Buddies at

Best Buddies DC 2014

The annual Best Buddies bike ride/run/walk in DC was held on Saturday, October 18. Best Buddies is a non-profit that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, both socially (hence its name) and professionally, by encouraging companies to hire people with disabilities and by providing leadership development.

The annual event is made up of a bike ride (100, 62, or 20 miles) or a 5K run/walk at the National Mall. Jim’s company put together a team of walkers, and our 13 year old and I arrived bright and early on Saturday morning. (Jim was traveling, and it was Homecoming for our high-schooler.)

Because the DC event is named after Eunice Shriver, I am never surprised when the weather is perfect for the event. (Even God would have a tough time crossing Mrs. Shriver, in my opinion.) This year was no exception. It was sunny and crisp, a perfect autumn day.

After finishing a leisurely 5K stroll, the afternoon events took place at Morven Park in Leesburg, the finishing point for the cyclists. There are all sorts of festivities and food there as well. The kids all ran around like banshees while the adults hung and chatted.

Here’s the group photo of Team Sterling at the walk:

Team Sterling 2014

You can find out more about Best Buddies at

Best Buddies Miami 2013

We flew down to Miami last weekend to attend the Best Buddies Miami gala.  Best Buddies is an organization that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with friendships, employment, and leadership development.  We’ve been involved with the organization for 20 years, and Jim is on the board.

The Miami event is especially entertaining because the crowd is some of the best people watching ever.  (Can you say “physical enhancements?”)  This year, Carlos Slim was the guest of honor at this year’s gala, and he and several family members flew from Mexico City to attend.  He is an amazingly unassuming person, happy to meet everyone.  We also met his daughter and son-in-law, who have also been generous supporters of Best Buddies.  The musical performer was Sean Paul.  We had a really fabulous time at the gala.

We spent the rest of the weekend in Miami, just hanging by the pool and enjoying the warm and sunny weather.  It was a wonderfully relaxing weekend and perfect timing, as we enter the crazy holiday season.

You can find out more about Best Buddies at

And here’s a photo from the event of Jim and me:

Best Buddies Miami 2013

Best Buddies Miami 2013

Best Buddies Challenge 2013

October 19 was the date of the Best Buddies Challenge in Washington, DC.  (It was also the date of Homecoming for our high schooler, and Jim was in Japan for the weekend, but I digress.)

Best Buddies is a charity that helps folks with intellectual disabilities with friendship and job prospects.  The organization was founded by Anthony Shriver and is dedicated to improving the lives of those with intellectual disabilities.  Each year, a fundraiser is held in DC that consists of a 100 mile bike ride, a 62 mile bike ride, a 20 mile bike ride, and a 5K run/walk.

This year’s DC event was made especially challenging due to the government shutdown.  As a result of the shutdown, the 100 mile bike ride was canceled and the 5K run/walk, which is usually held on the Mall, was moved to Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia instead.

The challenge was a tremendous success this year.  The weather was perfect—low 60s with a little bit of sun.  Turnout was amazing.  Kevin Spacey, the Wolff Brothers, and Capital Cities were all there (as well as the Red Rocket cheerleaders).  And, most importantly of all, Best Buddies raised $2.5 million at the event.

Full disclosure:  we’ve been supporters of Best Buddies for 20 years, and Jim is on the board.

You can find out more about Best Buddies at

Best Buddies Miami

We took the kids with us and spent this past weekend in Miami where we attended the Best Buddies Miami gala.  Best Buddies ( is an organization that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing them opportunities for friendship, employment assistance, and leadership training.  We’ve been involved with the organization since 1994, and it remains one of our favorite charities because of the tremendous work it does to assist one of the most marginalized groups in our country and in the world.

The Miami gala is one of our favorite events every year, partially because there are very few cities that have better people-watching than Miami.  This year’s gala did not disappoint.  It was held at Marlins Stadium ($350 million of public funding at work!), and Far East Movement performed.  (I have to digress here and mention that the parents of the Asian musicians in this band must be so proud.  It’s just what every immigrant parent dreams their child will grow up and be—a hiphop star.)  And rather than describe the many outfits that left very little to the imagination, you will just have to take my word for it.

We stayed at the Fontainebleau, and this was the view from our hotel balcony.

view from the Fontainebleau

We did manage to spend a few hours by the pool and by the ocean, after homework was done, of course.  It was sunny and in the mid-70s in Miami, as perfect weather as it could be.  Great cause, great event, great weather, and a wonderful time had by all.  It doesn’t get much better than that!