19th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: California Presented By Core Hydration & Safeway Foundation Raises Over $2 Million For Best Buddies International
Albertsons Companies Foundation Presented $560,000 Donation to Best Buddies, a Global Nonprofit Supporting Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Hosted by Best Buddies Celebrity Ambassador Jason Lewis, the Event Took Place on Saturday, October 15, at the Summit Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California
Marin County, CA. – (October 25, 2022) – The 19th annual Best Buddies Challenge: California presented by Core Hydration & Safeway Foundation raised $2 million for Best Buddies International. Proceeds benefited programs dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Hundreds of guests participated in the challenge on Saturday, October 15, at the Summit Skywalker Ranch. Cyclists, advocates, and celebrity supporters alike attended this annual event and took to the start line to ride 70 miles down the majestic coastal vistas and beautiful countryside in Marin County, California.
Safeway Northern California Division President Karl Schroeder presented a $560,000 check presentation to Best Buddies International during the opening ceremonies. Hosted by Best Buddies celebrity supporter Jason Lewis, the event celebrated Safeway Foundation’s impressive commitment to enriching the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) through their fundraising and employment efforts.
“The Safeway Foundation prizes our longstanding commitment to our community partners, and Best Buddies is a great example of that relationship,” said Safeway Northern California Division President Karl Schroeder. “We are honored to provide financial support to an organization that has been such a vital advocate of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
“In 2015, I was approached by Best Buddies and was blown away by how they help facilitate space for the participants in their program which best suits each individual,” said Best Buddies celebrity ambassador Jason Lewis. “The most human thing we can do is create space for another person to flourish. Everyone deserves to feel valuable and good about themselves in every aspect of their lives. Everyone is deserving of someone to love and someone to love them back. I’m extremely honored to work with Best Buddies and help advance their mission to enrich the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“Best Buddies is built on the power of partnerships and a shared vision for creating a more inclusive society for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Chairman, Founder, and CEO of Best Buddies International Anthony Kennedy Shriver. “We are incredibly grateful for Safeway Foundation’s $560,000 donation and their commitment to employing people with IDD. Their exemplary leadership and generous donation give individuals with IDD access to meaningful employment, income and allow them to make a positive contribution to society.”
Safeway stores in Northern California, Northern Nevada and Hawaii, through its respective Foundation, collaborated with Best Buddies this year to raise awareness and funds at store locations in support of the organization’s mission. Collectively, the regions raised an impressive $560,000 for Best Buddies, which will impact the lives of thousands of program participants.
In addition to their generous financial contributions to Best Buddies, Albertsons Companies is also an active employer of people with IDD. Since 2007, Albertsons has hired employees through the Best Buddies Jobs program in Massachusetts, California, Texas, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Participants from the Best Buddies Jobs program currently work throughout their stores in these regions, maintaining various positions where they demonstrate their skills and abilities while contributing to a more inclusive workplace.
During the event, Best Buddies Global Ambassador Katie Meade was surprised with a video from 7-time Super Bowl Champion and philanthropist Tom Brady. Brady met Meade back in Boston in 2003 at the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port event, and the two have bonded in genuine friendship for nearly two decades.
The ride concluded with a gourmet luncheon and a program hosted by Best Buddies International’s Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Anthony Kennedy Shriver, designed to celebrate Best Buddies programs and key supporters for their efforts in creating a more inclusive world for people with IDD.
With nearly 3,000 chapters worldwide, Best Buddies impacts 1 million people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities across 50 states and 47 countries annually.
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, leadership development and inclusive living 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 nearly 3,000 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies’ nine formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies®, Jobs, Ambassadors, Promoters and Inclusive Living — engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 47 countries, positively impacting the lives of nearly 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.