HERNDON, Va., June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Audi is once again the official vehicle of Best Buddies International and the Title Sponsor of the 2010 Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port. Founded by Anthony Kennedy Shriver in 1989, Best Buddies is 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 (IDD).
This year's fund-raising event will be highlighted by the Tom Brady Flag Football Challenge & Celebrity Sous Chef Barbeque at Harvard Stadium on Friday, June 4. The game, where long-time Best Buddies supporter Tom Brady will play quarterback for both teams, will be followed by a barbeque hosted by celebrity chef Guy Fieri. Several of Brady's teammates, including Tully Banta-Cain, Dan Koppen, Steve Neal, Vince Wilfork, and Pierre Woods are also expected to participate in the game, as is Boston College Eagles Mark Herzlich.
"I'm honored to join Audi and 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."
On Saturday, June 5, hundreds of cyclists will take the starting line at Boston's John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum for the picturesque 100-mile ride from Boston to Hyannis Port. The Challenge, which is open to participants of all ages and abilities and is designed to showcase the Best Buddies mission in action, 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.
Since partnering with Best Buddies International in 2007, Audi has helped the organization raise over $30 million in total donations in its primary fundraising events, such as this one. In 2009, the Audi team that raced in Hyannis Port and at the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle raised over $20,000 on its own. Further, Audi of America has brought on Buddy interns to work at its Herndon facility and in addition to the corporate funding, Audi dealers and partners have donated $170,000 at joint regional events.
"As we enter the fourth year of our relationship with Best Buddies, I can proudly say on behalf of the Audi organization that this partnership has been tremendously rewarding for us, as well as for Mr. Shriver's organization," said Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi of America. "We hope to help Best Buddies break its overall fund-raising record this year and also that our Audi team beats its own personal best in the race."
This year's Best Buddies events will be dedicated to the memory of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a great philanthropist who truly believed that the human spirit could overcome any obstacles. It was that belief that helped to inspire not only the Special Olympics, but Best Buddies International.
"I know my mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, is looking down from Heaven with a huge smile knowing that this year's Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port is a tribute to her incredible legacy," said Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International. "She was the inspiration behind this event, which celebrates the many abilities of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and was one of her favorites. Best Buddies International is incredibly grateful for Audi's continued support, which goes way beyond this Challenge, and has helped us enhance and expand our mission. Audi shares our goals and our desire to turn visions – like my mother's vision of full inclusion for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities - into realities."
The Challenge will be capped off by a New England-style clambake and private concert by multi-platinum recording artists KC & the Sunshine Band.
Audi of America, Inc. and its 272 U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. During 2009 Audi outsold all other luxury brands in Europe, while in the U.S. market Audi posted the largest market share gain of any luxury automotive brand. Over the next few years, AUDI AG expects to spend nearly $2 billion annually on new products and technology. Visit www.audiusa.com or www.audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.
ABOUT BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL
Best Buddies International 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 (IDD). Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,500 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of the 50 United States, as well as 46 countries, with additional ones under development. Best Buddies seven formal programs – Best Buddies Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies, Jobs and BUILD – positively impact 700,000 individuals with and without IDD annually. As a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with IDD secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, and make lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit www.bestbuddies.org or www.bestbuddieschallenge.org.
SOURCE Audi of America, Inc.