Michael-Anthony Foundation began as an idea for Michael Smith (corporate strategic planner for Coca-Cola) and Anthony Antoine McWilliams (community activist and career HIV/STI prevention program manager) to create a way for them to work together to impact their community.
The couple met in 1999 and shared a best friend relationship together before making their relationship official in October 2013. They became engaged to be married in October 2015 and married in Cabo, San Lucas on October 16th, 2016. They shared over 20 international trips together before Michael's untimely death in December 2018.
Both Michael and Anthony understood the cultural and educational impact that international travel had on them and the difference of world-view one develops after traveling abroad. Initially, the idea was to create a “First Passports” program to help youth secure their first passport and plant the seeds for the idea of international travel within others who may not be thinking of the importance of international travel or placing it high on their list of priorities.
After just 13 months of marriage, Michael was diagnosed with lung cancer on November 10th, 2017. On November 30th, 2017, Michael and Anthony learned that the lung cancer was stage 4 and had spread to multiple parts of Michael’s body. While Michael fought a hard battle against the disease, Michael passed on July 11th, 2018 – just eight months and 1 day since his first diagnosis.