Best Buddies International Announces the 20th Best Buddies Challenge: California Presented by Safeway Foundation
Event proceeds will support Best Buddies’ mission of inclusion for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Marin, CA, Oct. 11, 2023 – Best Buddies International, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, employment, leadership development and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), is pleased to announce the 20th Best Buddies Challenge: California presented by Safeway Foundation. The Challenge is a charity bike ride that starts and ends at the iconic Summit Skywalker Ranch in Nicasio, CA. The event is expected to raise over $3 million for Best Buddies programs.
This year, Carl Guardino, vice president of government affairs at Tarana Wireless, and Karl Schroeder, president of the Safeway Northern California Division, will serve as the event’s honorary co-chairs. They embody the true spirit of Best Buddies and deeply believe in the power of inclusion to make a positive difference in people’s lives.
“It is truly an honor to serve as the 2023 honorary co-chair for the Best Buddies Challenge: California,” said Carl Guardino. “I am incredibly passionate about Best Buddies’ mission of empowering people with IDD to help them form genuine friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently and become advocates for themselves and others within the IDD community. I hope that my role will help bring an even greater awareness to the infinite abilities people with IDD possess, in addition to the resources needed to further expand the organization’s presence throughout the state of California and beyond.”
“The Safeway Foundation prizes our longstanding commitment to our community partners, and Best Buddies is a great example of that relationship,” said Karl Schroeder. “We are honored to provide support to an organization that has been such a vital advocate of people with IDD. The amazing work of Best Buddies is an example of how we all benefit when society provides opportunities to those who are often overlooked or forgotten.”
The Challenge kicks-off with the Official Opening Ceremony of the Best Buddies Challenge: California presented by Safeway Foundation on Friday, Oct. 13 at the Summit Skywalker Ranch. Participants, VIPs, sponsors and guests are invited to attend Opening Ceremonies, which will include a program hosted by Best Buddies International’s Founder, Chairman and CEO Anthony K. Shriver, designed to celebrate Best Buddies programs and key supporters.
On Saturday, Oct. 14, hundreds of cyclists will take to the starting line at the Summit Skywalker Ranch for a 72 or 38-mile ride through the Marin countryside led by pro-cyclist Thomas Pidcock. Other cyclists attending this year’s event include Krista Doebel-Hickok, Mari Holden, Cole Kessler, Luke Lamperti, Emma Langley, Magnus Sheffield, Andrew Talansky, Alison Tetrick and Cameron Wurf. The Challenge is open to all ages and athletic abilities where participants and supporters ride, run or walk side-by-side with celebrities, professional athletes and notable guests.
The Best Buddies Challenge: California presented by Safeway Foundation will be capped off with a gourmet lunch, a wine tasting and live entertainment.
This year’s Challenge sponsors include:
Presenting Sponsor: Safeway Foundation
Golden Gate Sponsors: BODYARMOR, the official water and sports beverage partner of the Best Buddies Challenges, Hearst, Impossible Foods, Silicon Valley Bank, a division of First Citizens Bank and Sutter Health
Pacific Coast Sponsors: Chevron, E. & J. Gallo Winery and Stanford Health Care
Redwood Sponsors: Dome Construction, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits and Webcor
Media Sponsor: The San Francisco Chronicle
Official Bike Sponsor: Pinarello
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 (IDD). Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. 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’ 11 formal programs — Elementary Schools, Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies®, Jobs, Ambassadors, Promoters, Transitions and Inclusive Living— engage participants in each of the 50 states and in 49 countries, positively impacting the lives of nearly one 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 or connect with us via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
To participate in the Challenge:
For media inquiries (including requests for credentials):