Good Times At Celebrity Soccer Match Benefitting Best Buddies

Celebrities, athletes, luminaries, Buddies and hundreds of people gathered in North Beach this past November 23rd for the second annual Celebrity Soccer Match, presented by the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, founded by North Bay Village Commissioner Julianna Strout, who partnered with Alex Avellanet, Principal at BonVoix, Corp. and sports radio host for this year’s event that benefitted Best Buddies.

celebrity soccer match 1Photo Credit: Kevin Rivero

Three friendly matches took place between the participants. Local residents enjoyed soccer clinics for children run by CONCACAF Next Play, La Liga Academy, MIC Tournament and Inter Miami CF. The Miami HEAT Cheerleaders performed a halftime show. VIPs were treated to a lounge with bites by NaiYaRa, Oggi Ristorante, Metropol and Merkado 31 and Madelyn Pacheco, as well as spirits by Veuve Clicquot, Belvedere Vodka, Heineken, Figensza Vodka, Moet & Chandon, and Dom Perignon.

The event culminated with a trophy presentation to Best Buddies South Florida. Local officials in attendance included City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Florida Senator Jason Pizzo and Miami Beach Commissioners Mark Samuelian and Michael Góngora, who championed this event and brought it to the City of Miami Beach.

celebrity soccer match 2Photo Credit: Kevin Rivero

Celebrities in attendance included former soccer player and Bachelor Juan Pablo Galavis, actor Jason Lewis (Sex and the City), Bachelor in Paradise cast member Connor Obrochta, soccer player Marco Borriello, former Venezuelan soccer player Juan Arango, TV/Radio personality and former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, former Miss Colombia/Sports Illustrated model Ariadna Gutierrez, former Premier League player Enoch Olusesan Showunmi, professional soccer player Juan Fuenmayor, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, Miss Nicaragua Adriana Paniagua, Miss Universe Costa Rica Karina Ramos, Miss Florida USA Nicolette Jennings, Miss Universe US Virgin Islands Andrea Piecuch, former baseball player Carlos Gomez, former soccer player and current Inter Miami CF Academy Coach Julius James, Miss Haiti Gabriela Clesca, Miss Fort Lauderdale Heather Lee O’Keefe, Former Miss Florida and Miss World Puerto Rico Genesis Davila, Former Miss Universe EL Salvador Marisela de Montecristo, Miss Pensylvania Kailyn Perez, Miss Kentucky Jordan Weiter, Miss Teen USA Kaleigh Garris, Miss Florida Teen USA Katia Gerry, Grammy Award Winning Salsa Artist and Composer Marlow Rosado, soccer freestylers Laura Biondo, Victor Miranda, Jayzinho, and Frankie FLO Gonzalez, Mr. Purple, Miss California Brasil Priscila Sales, professional model Stephanie Dana, celebrity trainer Tony Thomas, professional baseball player Tyler Austin, NFL player Greg Joseph, former soccer player Daniel Godoy, artists Moi Berlanga and Marcello Ibanez and Sports Illustrated models Clarissa Bowers, Kristen Louelle, Mara Martin, Nour Guiga, Gabriella Bongiovanni and Tara Yazdi. The event was emceed by El Zol’s Meca y El Boricua Loco.

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Commissioner Michael Gongora and Mayor Francis Suarez

Photo Credit: Kevin Rivero

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.

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Adriana Paniagua, Karina Ramos

Photo Credit: Kevin Rivero

In partnership with 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 beachside between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the North Beach Bandshell Sand-bowl at 7275 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, FL. Sponsors included the City of Miami Beach, City of Miami, Miami HEAT, Football Unites, Miami Marlins, Miscellaneous Marketing Ltd., Soccer 7 USA, Fütness, Coca Cola, Red Bull, The Broadmoor Hotel, Heineken, Kobi Karp Architecture & Interior Design, Merkado 31, Autism Soccer, Ocean Terrace Holdings, Shutts & Bowen, Figenza Vodka, Oggi Risorante, AquaDry, Optimum Spine, Mofongo Calle 8, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Tito’s Vodka, Miami Grill, The London Essence, Berkowitz Development Group, Shirley Pear Tans, Madelyn Pacheco, Elite Miami, Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Dom Perignon, Dr. Rico Perez, NaiYaRa, Maham, USA Sports Therapy, Lashhouzz, Atlantic Broadband, Miami Beach Life Magazine, 305 La Radio, CG Producciones, Unanimo Deportes, Gozando con Salsa and Haute Living with the support of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority, GMCVB, and Unidad of Miami Beach.

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Ariadna Gutierrez

Photo Credit: Kevin Rivero

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.

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Jason Lewis

Photo Credit: Kevin Rivero

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Kristen Louelle

Photo Credit: Kevin Rivero