It turns out that billionaire oligarch Roman Abramovich is a heck of a nice guy. He made a six-figure donation to the Fulfilling Dreams charity in Israel. The charity takes kids with serious illnesses to major soccer tournaments around the world. Abramovich reportedly learned about the charity from the former manager of his Chelsea soccer team, Avram Grant. Abramovich's donation funded flights from Israel to Russia as well as hotels and food for the week-long stay at the World Cup. A spokesman for Fulfilling Dreams commented on Abramovich's donation:
"We at Fulfilling Dreams are so grateful to all our donors, especially Mr. Roman Abramovich, for their tremendous generosity. All the months of hard work and organization become completely worth it when I see the happiness on these wonderful kids' faces."
A total of 30 sick children and 38 caregivers went to three soccer games, including the exciting upset of reigning world champion Germany by Mexico. Nine-year-old Polina Feldman has cerebral palsy. She told CNN:
"I'm having the time of my life. I've never been abroad before, and football is my life."
The kids lucked out when the Israel-Argentina match was cancelled just before the World Cup started. Many of them were supposed to be on that trip and got to go to the World Cup instead.
Abramovich has donated to Fulfilling Dreams a number of times. He helped the group take young people to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the 2016 European Championships in France. The Jewish community in Moscow has also donated money to facilitate the charity's goals.
Roman Abramovich is one of the richest people in Russia with a net worth of $10 billion.