Presented by Country Kitchen
-- Tom Brady, New England Patriots Quarterback & Best Buddies Global Ambassador, to serve as Honorary Chairman of the Challenge
-- The Tom Brady Football Challenge & Tailgate to kick off the festivities
-- More than 1,500 people expected to participate in the charity walk, run and ride this year
BOSTON, May 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Best Buddies International (www.bestbuddies.org), a groundbreaking nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver 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, is pleased to announce that the Twelfth Annual Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, presented by Country Kitchen will take place on June 3 and 4. This year, 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 Chairman.
"I'm honored to join Best Buddies to raise money for such a tremendous cause," says Tom Brady. "What strikes me most about Best Buddies is the simplicity - and magnitude - of the mission. Friendship is a simple idea. Connecting people who may not normally be friends and changing the way people think about individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities – that's huge."
The Tom Brady Football Challenge & Tailgate, which will take place at Harvard Stadium on Friday, June 3, will kick off the weekend's festivities. During the game, Tom Brady will play quarterback alongside Best Buddies participants and supporters, including New England Patriots legend Tedy Bruschi; New England Patriots linebacker Tully Banta-Cain; New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman; New England Patriots center Dan Koppen; and Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely. The public is welcome - and encouraged - to come and cheer them on. Tickets are available at www.bestbuddieschallenge.org/football. Additionally, interested parties may enter a raffle to win a spot to play in the game on team Country Kitchen. Simply click on the "Enter the Raffle" button on www.bestbuddieschallenge.org/football to learn more and participate.
This incredible game will be followed by a tailgate party hosted by Michael Schlow, executive chef and owner of Radius, Via Matta and Alta Strada restaurants. Schlow will work with several lucky Best Buddies participants, who will serve as his sous chefs, to prepare food for this fabulous feast.
On Saturday, June 4, hundreds of cyclists will take the starting line at Boston's John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum for the picturesque 100-mile ride portion of the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, from Boston to Hyannis Port. The Challenge is open to participants of all ages and abilities – visit www.bestbuddieschallenge.org to register - 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 and 3K walk led by the Olympic gold-medalist himself.
Celebrity attendees and special guests who are expected to participate in the Challenge include many of the aforementioned NFL pros, as well as actors Mike O'Malley and Verne Troyer; actresses Lauren Potter and Tracy Bingham; Miss Connecticut Teen USA Samantha Sojka, Miss Maine Teen USA Alexis McIlwain, Miss Massachusetts Teen USA Kay Tetreault, Miss North Carolina Teen USA Vanessa McClelland, and Miss Teen USA Kami Crawford; New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick; Olympic gold-medalist Carl Lewis, and TV personalities Andrea Kremer and Michael Smith. They will all be invited to team-up with Best Buddies participants to compete in "Friendship Races" on tandem bicycles. This year, there will also be a special "Friendship Race" in honor of the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Sargent Shriver called the Family Challenge, during which participants will be invited to team-up with their mothers and fathers to compete for gold, silver and bronze medals.
The Challenge will be capped off by a New England-style clambake and private concert by Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Natasha Bedingfield for all participants and special guests.
"We are thrilled to be returning to Massachusetts for our twelfth Challenge, and hope that it will be our most successful one to-date," says Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International. "We are delighted that Tom Brady will once again join us not only as Honorary Chairman of the Challenge, but also as the quarterback for our football game. His commitment to the cause - along with that of all Challenge participants - has helped bring an increased awareness to the innumerable abilities people with intellectual and developmental disabilities posses, and in turn, an outpouring of support for the Best Buddies mission."
In addition to Brady, John Hailer, President & CEO, US & Asia, Natixis Global Asset Management, LP; Joanne Jaxtimer, Senior Vice President & Director, Corporate Affairs, New England, BNY Mellon; Will McDonough, Vice President, Goldman Sachs; and Anthony Kennedy Shriver have committed to serve as Challenge Co-Chairs.
Audi is returning for a fourth year as Title Sponsor of the Challenge. "Audi is proud to partner with Best Buddies International and serve as the title sponsor of this event as we continue to focus on social responsibility within our company," says Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. "Since the inception of our partnership in 2007, we have helped Best Buddies raise close to U.S. $36 million in total donations, and we are excited to have our Audi cycling team return for another year."
And, Country Kitchen has graciously agreed to return as Presenting Sponsor of the Challenge. Additional Challenge sponsors include: Jonathan and Jeanne Lavine, BNY Mellon, Pepsi, CVS Caremark, Avid Technology, Natixis, the Hanson family, Par Electrical Contractors, the Shay family, Gerry and Penney Klingman, The GEO Group, John Hancock, UGG Australia, FIJI Water, Patron and many others. Media sponsors include: Niche Media, CBS Radio, NBC/WHDH, The Boston Globe and Bicycling Magazine.
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 Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to almost 1,500 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies' seven formal programs – Colleges, High Schools, Middle Schools, Citizens, e-Buddies® , Jobs and Ambassadors – engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 50 countries, positively impacting the lives of nearly 700,000 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 or www.bestbuddieschallenge.org.
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. During 2010 Audi was the top performing luxury brand in Europe, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Over the next few years, AUDI AG will invest nearly $16 billion on new products and technologies. Visit www.audiusa.com or www.audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.
To participate in the Challenge or become a sponsor: visit www.bestbuddieschallenge.org, or call 1-800-718-3536.
SOURCE Best Buddies International