Champions are often overlooked and don’t necessarily have to be a sport’s or even a war hero. A person who helps a senior struggling to load their groceries in their car, or the individual who stops to catch a loose dog wandering the road looking to find their way home, embody the spirit of a champion. Champions are found in all walks of life and are the unsung heroes of everyday existence. Today we recognize Marco Altieri and Bailey Geoghegan as they embody the definition of a champion in the truest sense of the word.
Marco, the CEO of All-American Homecare, is a tireless advocate for people with disabilities having spent 14 years of his life working towards the goal of independence for all people with disabilities. Bailey Geoghegan, a senior at Norman Howard High School, is a stoic, intelligent and reserved high schooler embarking on life’s journey on a road paved with potential. He is also a Buddy through Rochester’s Best Buddies program. Together they were able to raise over $13,000 for programming that goes directly to Rochester’s Best Buddies chapter during a twelve-week stretch. This feat is an amazing stand-alone accomplishment, considering how vast of an impact $13,000 can make in the field of human services. This money will have a tremendous impact on the programming that Best Buddies provides and of course the school-aged children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Perhaps there is a subtle, even greater accomplishment, overshadowed by the tangible result of having raised such substantial funds. It can’t be defined, measured or weighed, however, it can be observed. It is the result of pairing a driven, accomplished, community leader with a young adult who hasn’t quite found the confidence in themselves they need to realize their full potential. It is that exact mission espoused by Best Buddies and it is the result of what happened when Marco and Bailey were paired together. A friendship was created, a monumental task accomplished and a bridge was gapped. Marco summarized his experience stating “It was a great experience. I was able to meet a great young adult and witnessed first-hand how his experiences with Best Buddies helped break down social barriers. I felt like I made a friend out of this and, to me, really reinforced the power of inclusion.”
Congratulations to Marco Altieri and Bailey Geoghegan as well as all the other Champions who participated in this year’s Best Buddies Champions Fundraiser.