BOSTON, May 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Best Buddies International, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), is pleased to announce that the 15th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, presented by Country Kitchen, will take place on May 30 - 31. More than 1,500 people are expected to participate in the Challenge – a charity walk, run and ride to benefit Best Buddies International. Tom Brady, the New England Patriots Quarterback and a Best Buddies Global Ambassador, will serve as Honorary Co-Chair and lead Team Tom Brady to the finish line. Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III and Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri will join Brady as the event's Honorary Co-Chairs.
"Best Buddies is an important organization with a great message to share, and I am so proud to support their work," said Tom Brady. "I hope my role as Honorary Co-Chair will continue to bring attention to the organization's mission of friendship and inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the world."
"We are thrilled to be returning to Massachusetts for our fifteenth Challenge and we are delighted that Tom Brady, Guy Fieri and Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy, III will join us as Honorary Chairmen of this event," says Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International. "Their commitment to the cause - along with that of all Challenge participants - has helped bring an even greater awareness to the infinite abilities people with intellectual and developmental disabilities possess, and in turn, an outpouring of support for the Best Buddies mission."
Several New England Patriots, past and present, including Danny Amendola, Joe Andruzzi, Julian Edelman, Christian Fauria, Rob Gronkowski, Dan Koppen, Ryan Mallet, Jerod Mayo, Zoltan Mesko, Nate Solder, Vince Wilfork and Scott Zolak, are expected to attend the Tom Brady Football Challenge; along with Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri and Olympic Gold-Medalist Carl Lewis. The public is welcome and encouraged to come out and cheer them on - to reserve free tickets to the game, please visit: http://bestbuddieschallenge.org/hp/tom-brady-football-challenge-ticket-request-form/.
The game will be followed by the Guy Fieri Celebrity Chef Tailgate Party, hosted by Guy Fieri, a best-selling cookbook author and host of several Food Network shows, including "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" and "Guy's Big Bite." Five Boston chefs -- Tony DiCenso of Rino's Place; Steve DiFillippo of Davio's Restaurant; Jay Hajj of Mike's City Diner; Paul Malvone of Boston Burger Company.; and Ken Oringer of Clio, Uni, Toro, Coppa, Earth restaurants, are scheduled to join Fieri at this year's tailgate party. The chefs will work with several lucky Best Buddies participants, who will serve as their sous-chefs and help them prepare food for this fabulous feast.
During Friday night's festivities, Best Buddies will present Joanne Jaxtimer, Regional Executive, BNY Mellon, will be honored with the organization's esteemed "Spirit of Friendship Award" for her outstanding efforts and incredible spirit of generosity on behalf of individuals with intellectual disabilities.
On Saturday, May 31, hundreds of cyclists, including cycling legends George Hincapie, Ted King and Cam Wurf – will take the starting line at Boston's John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum for the picturesque 100-mile ride portion of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, from Boston to Hyannis Port. The Challenge is open to participants of all ages and abilities and is designed to showcase the Best Buddies mission in action. It also features alternative 50 and 20-mile cycling routes, as well as the Carl Lewis Challenge, a 5K run or walk led by the Olympic gold-medalist himself.
Several other celebrities, professional athletes and special guests are also expected to participate in the Challenge, including: "Glee's" Lauren Potter, who is also a Best Buddies Board Member, Rising Hollywood Star Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo, New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. They will all be invited to compete in the "Friendship Races" on tandem bicycles.
The Challenge will be capped off by a New England-style clambake and private concert by the Dropkick Murphys, which all participants and special guests are invited to attend.
In addition to Brady, Congressman Kennedy and Fieri, Patrick Flavin, AVP, Workforce Initiatives, The TJX Companies, Inc.; John Hailer, President & CEO, US & Asia, Natixis Global Asset Management; and Chris Wayland, Vice President, General Manager at WHDH-TV 7 NBC; have committed to serve as Challenge Co-Chairs.
Country Kitchen will return as Presenting Sponsor of the Challenge, and Audi of America will once again return as the official vehicle sponsor. Additional Challenge sponsors include: Hyannis Port Club Sponsors BNY Mellon, The Crimson Lion Foundation, Pepsi, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Natixis Global Assessment Management, The TJX Companies, Inc and Greenberg Traurig LLP; Cape Club Sponsors Andrew Barowsky, CVS Caremark, John Hancock Funds, and NBC/WHDH; Craigville Beach Club Sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Demoulas Markets, Eaton Vance Corp., Energi, FIJI Water, the official water of Best Buddies International, Foxwoods Resort Casino, The GEO Group, Inc, Mark Edward Partners, Pilot Freight Services, Putnam Investments, Red and Blue Foundation, Samsung Galaxy, Santander Bank, and State Street; and Media Sponsors Bicycling Magazine, The Boston Globe, CBS Radio/98.5 The Sports Hub, Getty Images, the official photography sponsor of Best Buddies International, NBC/WHDH, Boston Common Magazine/Niche Media, the premier magazine sponsor of Best Buddies International and 90.9 WBUR.
About Best Buddies International:
Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to almost 1,700 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies' eight formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies® , Jobs, Ambassadors, and Promoters — engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 53 countries, positively impacting the lives of nearly 800,000 people with and without disabilities around the world. As a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit www.bestbuddies.org, facebook.com/bestbuddies or twitter.com/bestbuddies.
SOURCE Best Buddies International