Event Proceeds to Support Best Buddies’ Mission of Friendship and Inclusion
Malibu, CA, May 14, 2017 – Best Buddies International, a nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver to establish 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), raised $300,000 for its programs at the organization’s inaugural Mother’s Day Weekend Brunch. The event was hosted by Best Buddies Global Ambassador Cindy Crawford and her daughter Kaia Gerber and took place Saturday, May 13 in Malibu, CA.
This Mother’s Day Weekend Brunch celebrated the incredible mothers of Best Buddies participants and mothers all around the world, paying homage to the gifts of love and friendship that mothers give to their children, especially the mothers of best buddies.
During the brunch, Cindy Crawford and Anthony K. Shriver hosted an awards ceremony honoring three special mothers of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities — Sharon Carlson as Mother of the Year: California; Mona Coffield as Mother of the Year: USA; and Michelle Ressa Aventajado as Mother of the Year: International.
The event celebrated mothers from start to finish as guests arrived in chauffeured Cadillac vehicles and were greeted with a lively welcome by the DC6 Choir. The Brunch also featured live musical performances by Jami Belushi and Alisan Porter; family-friendly activities that included a petting zoo, arts and crafts station, and a zip line. Acclaimed photographer Brian Bowen Smith captured all the special moments of the mothers and their children in front of a beautifully arranged floral wall. During the event, guests enjoyed specialty cocktails by Casamigos Tequila and Buca di Beppo dished up savory pastas for all to enjoy.
Celebrity supporters in attendance included Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Cerney, Michael Chiklis, Jackie Cruz, Vivica Fox, Nolan Gould, Lisa Rinna, Harry Hamlin and daughters Amelia and Delilah Hamlin, Vanessa Hudgens, Kelly Hu, Milla Jovovich, John C. McGinley, Nancy O’Dell, Holly Robinson Peete, Lauren Potter, Maria Shriver and daughter Christina Schwarzenegger, Jane Seymour, Molly Simms, and the cast of A&E’s Born This Way.
“For the past 20 years, I’ve had the honor of serving as a Global Ambassador for Best Buddies International, promoting the organization’s mission of friendship and social inclusion,” said Cindy Crawford. “I was so incredibly honored to host this inaugural Mother’s Day Brunch with my daughter Kaia, celebrating mothers raising children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I’ve learned that the best way to teach my own children is by example and modeling the importance of giving back and extending yourself to others is probably the best gift I can give her. It is my hope that she will feel empowered to go out into the world and make a difference.”
“Across the globe, mothers act as pillars of love, friendship and strength for their families. We often think of heroes as beings with super powers, but in my eyes, mothers are the real heroes,” said Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International. “My mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, will always be my hero. I would be nowhere without her unending love and guidance. My mother guided me in everything I did. She believed relentlessly in the power of friendship and without her, Best Buddies would not exist. I thank her for her love, passion, leadership, and faith in our cause. I am so thankful for her enduring spirit which guides me in the work that I do today on behalf of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
The Best Buddies Mother’s Day Weekend Brunch sponsors include: Title Sponsor David Yurman; Mother’s Day Sponsor’s Cadillac and Susan McCaw; Mission Sponsors A&E Networks/A&E, Blushington, Andrew Conrad, Randall Emmett, Monica Gambee, Guthy Renker, Evan Hainey, Nichole McGinley, Meaningful Beauty, Delores Pistacchio, Eleanor Randall, and Marilyn Rotter; Major Donors & Supporters Lyndie Benson, Brian Bowen Smith, Eva Guerrand-Hermes, Simone Harrer, Lisa Hilton, Kelly Meyer, and Jennifer Stallone; and Casamigos Tequila.
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 more than 2,300 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 over 50 countries, positively impacting the lives of more than 1.1 million people with and without disabilities around the world. In many cases, 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.