19th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port Presented by Pepsi-Cola and Shaw’s and Star Market Foundation Raises $6 Million for People with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities
BOSTON, June 5, 2018 – This year, over 2,500 people participated in the 19th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, a cycling, run and walk fundraiser from Boston to Hyannis Port, on June 2-3. The Challenge raised $6 million in total donations for Best Buddies International, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Tom Brady, New England Patriots Quarterback and Best Buddies Global Ambassador, served as Honorary Co-Chair, along with Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri and Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy, III. During the Challenge, Event Chair Ted English, Executive Chairman of Bob’s Discount Furniture, helped honor Eaton Vance Management with the 2018 Spirit of Leadership award for the incredible work they have done to promote Best Buddies’ mission of friendship and inclusion. This year, Eaton Vance Management raised more than $250,000 for Best Buddies programs.
The weekend’s festivities kicked off with the Tom Brady Football Challenge and the Guy Cooking with Best Buddies Celebrity Chef Food and Wine Festival on Friday, June 1. Fans enjoyed delicious treats by Chobani, Cold Stone and Dunkin’ Donuts as they filled the stands at Harvard Stadium to watch Team Pepsi-Cola take on Team Shaw’s and Star Market Foundation. It was a thrilling game and for the first time in the history of the Football Challenge, the teams tied, with 112 points each.
During the game, Brady played quarterback for Team Pepsi-Cola and Team Shaw’s & Star Market Foundation alongside Best Buddies participants, supporters, and special guests, including his children Benny and Vivian. Past and present New England Patriots joined in on the game, some of which included Julian Edelman, Ted Bruschi, Dan Koppen, James White and Trey Brown; who were also joined by model and influencer Victoria Brito; Actor Greg Germann; ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter; and Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker. Several other celebrities attended the weekend festivities, including Best Buddies Global Ambassador Katie Meade; Miss USA 2018 Sarah Summers and Miss Teen USA 2018 Hailey Colborn; and HUBLOT of America, Inc. President Jean-Francois Sberro.
Friday’s evening concluded with the Third Annual Guy Cooking with Best Buddies Celebrity Chef Food and Wine Festival, presented by Pepsi-Cola, Shaw’s and Star Market Foundation. More than 30 chefs from top local restaurants provided food tastings and complimentary wine and spirits options, and several Best Buddies sous chefs prepared delicious food for guests, all for a great cause. Steve DiFillippo, founder of the renowned Davio’s Restaurant Group, Randy Greenstein, principle owner of Big Night Entertainment Group, and Michael Schlow of Tico Boston, served as the special Chef Vice-Chairs of the event.
Guests enjoyed a special dinner reception after the Food and Wine Festival, where Best Buddies participants, including Best Buddies Global Ambassador Jack Mayor, spoke about the organization’s profound impact on their lives. Buddy sous chef who participated in the Food and Wine Festival were later presented with a personally-signed certificate of completion from Guy Fieri. Foxwoods Resort Casino also introduced the first-ever Food Festival Awards presentation to honor the most notable restaurants and chefs at the event, with Casa B (Chef Alberto Cabre), Boston Burger Company (Paul Malvone) and Red Lantern (Chef Kevin Scott), winning first, second and third place, respectively.
On Saturday, June 2, Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port participants turned out in droves for a 100, 50, or 20 mile bike ride and laced up their running shoes for a 5K run/walk. Best Buddies Ambassador Genevieve Meza sang a powerful rendition of the “National Anthem,” at the opening ceremonies for the 100-mile. Professional cyclists George Hincapie and Christian Vande Velde, who both rode on Team Hublot,were among the group of riders making their way down the picturesque New England streets.
Many Best Buddies supporters and participants encouraged riders at the start lines, thanking them for their efforts towards making society more inclusive and wishing them a great ride. Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy, III spoke at the 50-mile start, reminding the cyclists that their endeavors were greatly appreciated and several Best Buddies Ambassadors spoke about their personal Best Buddies experiences throughout the event. Anthony K. Shriver’s family, including his wife Alina Shriver and their children, also participated in the Challenge, riding in the 20-mile ride for Best Buddies.
At the finish line, Best Buddies celebrity supporters and participants competed on tandem bicycles in the “Friendship Races”, including New England Patriots stars James White and Julian Edelman. The Challenge was capped off by a celebratory clambake and private concert by the legendary Rick Springfield, who rocked the crowd with several of his hits, including the classic “Jessie’s Girl.” The singer brought Best Buddies participants on stage for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.was one of many Kennedy-Shriver family members who made an appearance at this year’s luncheon on the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port. ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter and New England Patriots players James White and Julian Edelman, were also in attendance. In a speech that finished with a standing ovation, Best Buddies Global Ambassador Katie Meade thanked Best Buddies for changing her life. Later that evening, guests enjoyed a private reception at the Kennedy-Shriver family home, where Chef Guy Fieri cooked some of his signature dishes, including tacos and burgers topped with mac and cheese, alongside Best Buddies participants. Through his foundation, Guy Cooking with Kids, Fieri also donated $100,000 to Best Buddies International.
During the festivities, Anthony K. Shriver encouraged guests to “Sponsor a Buddy” (to attend the Best Buddies International Leadership Conference in July) through the Tom Brady Football Toss. Brady tossed signed footballs to guests who paid up to $2,000 for each one, giving Best Buddies participants the opportunity to attend the conference. Best Buddies also auctioned off a Hublot Big Bang timepiece and a Celebrity Cruises luxury cruise to the Galapagos Islands. Hublot also introduced a new cycling kit for Team Hublot riders. In total, the football tosses and auctions raised $115,000 at both Friday’s celebration and Saturday’s clambake in Hyannis Port.
The event was another record-breaking success, and an excellent stride in making the world more inclusive for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities!
To access photos from this year’s event, please visit the following link: https://bit.ly/2Lr0gnG
Below are the top fundraising teams and top riders for the 19th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port.
100-mile, Men: Michael Dietrich
100-mile, Women: Leah Vande Velde
50-mile, Men: Kai Xie
50-mile, Female: Kate Perrelli
20-mile, Men: Felix Rogovin
20-mile, Women: Cate Kelly
5K Run/Walk, Men: Eli Gale
5k Run/Walk, Female: Shea Williams
Top Individual (Kirkwood Award): Jamie Hintlian – $149,300
Corporate Cup (Top Corporate Team): Eaton Vance – $229,153
Citizen Cup (Top Team): Team Tom Brady – $569,725
Fastest team: Silicon Valley Bank (SVB)
This year’s Challenge sponsors included: Presenting Sponsors Pepsi-Cola, The Official Beverage of the Best Buddies Challenges, and Shaw’s and Star Market Foundation; Hyannis Port Club Sponsors Bob’s Discount Furniture, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Greenberg Traurig, Hublot, Don McCree, Seyfarth Shaw, Santander Bank, The TJX Companies, Inc; Cape Club Sponsors Abaco Wines, Chobani, Eze Castle Integration, The GEO Group Foundation, John Hancock, WHDH/Channel 7; Craigville Beach Club Sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, BNY Mellon, Celebrity Cruises, Cold Stone Creamery, Cooking with Kids Foundation, Crescent Capital Group, CVS Health, Dunkin’ Donuts, Eaton Vance Management, Mark Edward Partners, RAI Services Company, Joe Shay, Jr., Teddie Peanut Butter, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Volvo, BMC, and Media Sponsor Boston Business Journal.
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 nearly 2,500 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 50 countries, positively impacting the lives of over 1.2 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.