BOSTON, June 1, 2016 /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 17th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port presented by Pepsi-Cola and Santander Bank, will take place on June 3-4. More than 2,500 people are expected to participate in the Challenge – a charity walk, run and ride to benefit Best Buddies International. Tom Brady, New England Patriots Quarterback and Best Buddies Global Ambassador, will serve as Honorary Co-Chair and lead Team Tom Brady to the finish line. Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri and Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III will join Brady as the event's Honorary Co-Chairs, and John Hailer, President & CEO of Natixis Global Asset Management for the Americas & Asia, is the Event Chair.
"Best Buddies is a fantastic organization with a great message to spread, 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 delighted to be returning to Massachusetts for our 17th Annual Hyannis Port Challenge and we are thrilled 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. "We are also honored to have Pepsi-Cola and Santander Bank as this year's Presenting Sponsors. Their dedication to the Best Buddies mission of inclusion – 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."
Several New England Patriots, past and present including Danny Amendola, Tedy Bruschi, Julian Edelman, Christian Fauria, Rob Gronkowski, Dion Lewis, Dan Koppen, Rob Ninkovich, James White, and Scott Zolak are expected to attend the Tom Brady Football Challenge at Harvard Stadium.
Other celebrities, professional athletes and special guests expected to participate in the Challenge weekend, including: Actress Jamie Brewer, Actress and Journalist Maria Menounos, Actors Michael Chiklis, Greg Germann and Jason Lewis, Soul Cycle Master Instructor Stacey Griffith, Governor Charlie Baker and Mayor Martin Walsh.
During Friday night's festivities, Foxwoods Resort Casino President and CEO Felix Rappaport and Chairman Rodney Butler of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council will be joined by Guy Fieri and surprise celebrity guests at halftime to make an exclusive announcement about an exciting upcoming development at Foxwoods.
New to the Challenge this year is the Guy Cooking with Best Buddies Celebrity Chef Food and Wine Festival, presented by Pepsi-Cola. Headlined by Guy Fieri, the event will feature 30 chefs from top local restaurants providing food tastings and complimentary wine and spirits options. Guy Cooking with Best Buddies will provide a unique opportunity for guests to indulge in some of New England's finest culinary dishes and exquisite wines, all for a great cause. The festival will also feature a special performance by comedian Greg Fitzsimmons. Steve DiFillippo, founder of the world-famous Davio's Restaurant Group and inductee to the Massachusetts Restaurant Hall of Fame, Allen Campbell, chef and author of "TB12's Nutritional Manual", Michael Schlow of Tico, Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar, and Randy Greenstein of Big Night Entertainment Group, will serve as the Special Chef Vice-Chairs of this event.
On Saturday, June 4, hundreds of cyclists, including professional cyclists George Hincapie and Christian Vande Velde – will take to the starting line at Santander Bank in Dorchester 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.
The Challenge will be capped off by a New England-style clambake and private concert by the legendary Beach Boys, which all participants and special guests are invited to attend.
This year's Challenge sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors Pepsi-Cola, The Official Beverage of the Best Buddies Challenges, and Santander Bank; Hyannis Port Club Sponsors Hublot, Seyfarth Shaw, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Natixis Global Asset Management, The TJX Companies, Inc. and Greenberg Traurig LLP; Cape Club Sponsors BNY Mellon, Bob's Discount Furniture, CVS Health, The GEO Group Foundation, Inc, John Hancock, NBC/WHDH; Craigville Beach Club Sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Cooking with Kids Foundation, Crescent Capital Group, Eaton Vance Investment Management, Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design, Mark Edward Partners, Pilot Freight Services, Joe Shay, Jr., Teddie Peanut Butter, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Cannondale, New England Audi Dealers, William Grant & Sons, Ltd., The Official Liquor Sponsor of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, and Media Sponsors CBS Radio/98.5 The Sports Hub, and 90.9 WBUR.
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SOURCE Best Buddies International