10th Anniversary Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle Raises $4.5 Million for Best Buddies International
Carmel, CA, September 8 – Fifteen hundred people took part in the10th Anniversary Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle, a 100-mile cycling fundraiser from Carmel to San Simeon, on Saturday, September 7. The Challenge raised $4.5 million in total donations for Best Buddies International, a nonprofit 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).
Author, journalist and activist Maria Shriver and California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom served as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Challenge. Both shared of their time and talent over the course of the weekend, with Shriver delivering powerful speeches and participating in the 15-mile ride, and Newsom riding the 30-mile route. Shriver’s Team Maria was the top fundraising “non-corporate” team, raising more than $450,000 and Team SVB was the top fundraising “corporate” team, raising more than $630,000.
Several other celebrities, professional athletes, and special guests came out to participate in the Challenge, including: actors Rob Morrow and Verne Troyer; actresses Cheryl Hines, Maureen McCormick and Lauren Potter; Olympic gold-medalist Carl Lewis; comedian Bill Engvall; famed pilot of the “Miracle on the Hudson,” Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, III; musicians Lisa Loeb and Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles; world-champion baseball player Todd Zeile.
The event kicked-off with the Best Buddies Golf Challenge at the legendary Tehama Golf Club in Carmel on Friday, September 6. During the Golf Challenge, Best Buddies participants played alongside celebrities, professional athletes, and special guests. The day concluded with the Maria Shriver Reception, which took place at Tehama Golf Club.
On Saturday, September 7, hundreds of cyclists took part in the starting line at Quail Lodge Golf Club for the 100-mile ride down the majestic Pacific Coast Highway from Carmel to San Simeon. The Challenge, which was open to people of all ages and abilities and is designed to showcase the Best Buddies mission in action, also featured alternative 62, 30 and 15-mile cycling routes, as well as the Carl Lewis Challenge, a 5K run/walk led by the Olympic gold-medalist himself.
The Challenge was capped off by a barbeque, awards ceremony and concert by Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles, at Hearst Ranch.
Overall, the weekend had many highlights, including (additional results follow the boilerplate):
Comedian and ABC’ s new Dancing With The Stars participant Bill Engvall entertained the crowd at the Maria Shriver Reception on Friday night. He also picked-up some new moves from Buddy Ambassador Brett Banford, a competitive dancer.
Musician Lisa Loeb performed the inspirational song “You Raise Me Up” while Best Buddies participant Lisa Smith signed along.
To commemorate the Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle’s 10th Anniversary,10 sky-divers waving Best Buddies banners and California state flags jumped from planes above the barbeque as the crowd of spectators gathered to capture the moment on camera. Additionally, those individuals who have attended the event all 10 years – Joe Blum, Michael Collins, Chantel DeFord, William DeMar, Dan Dour, Bob Friedman, JR Fry, Aaron Gershenberg, Marcus Gershenberg, Michele Gogliucci, James Hannon, Steve Hearst, Clare Hinchion, Carl King, Michael Neeley, Peter Scott, Maria Shriver, and Scott Tracy – were recognized on stage.
Audi of America once again returned as the Official Vehicle sponsor of the event. Additional Challenge sponsors included: The Hearst Corporation; Tupperware; Chevron; Pepsi; E. & J. Gallo Winery; Avid; Arco; Zenith Watches; Carnival Cruise Lines; FIJI Water, Official Water of Best Buddies; The Patrón Spirits Company, Official Spirits Sponsor of the Challenge; Natixis Global Asset Management; Pacific Gas & Electric; 20th Century Fox; Electus; Classic Party Rentals; Pilot Freight Services; Niche Media, Premiere Magazine Sponsor of Best Buddies; KPIX; San Francisco Chronicle; Getty Images, Official Photography Sponsor of Best Buddies; and Silicon Valley Bank.
Additionally, Best Buddies received the support of the Honorary Ambassador Committee, whose members are helping to promote not only the event, but also inclusion for individuals with disabilities. Committee members include: California Assembly Members Tom Ammiano and Connie Conway; California State Senators Ted Gaines and Mark DeSaulnier ; San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee; and California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
Photos are available at: http://www.gettyimages.com/EditorialImages/Entertainment?parentEventId=175578205
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 1,700 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 800,000 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, twitter.com/bestbuddies, or instagram.com/bestbuddies.
For media inquiries, contact:
305-374-2233, ext. 207
305-374-2233, ext. 245
Top Individual Fundraisers
- Vincenzo Stankard, $62,002
- Marco Dondero, $55,000
- Carl Guardino, $42,265
- Marcus Gershenberg, $38,100
- Bob Friedman, $31,468
Top Fundraising Teams
- Team Silicon Valley Bank, $630,057, 258 members
- Team Maria, $456,472, 111 members
- Team Audi of America, $110,221, 53 members
- Team Manpower/Wisconsin, $89,010, 18 members
- Team California, $53,150, 7 members
- Jason Bachus
- Stephen Salutan
- Matthew Shuck
Top Ten Finishers
- Ted Huang, Team WebCor
- Smith Anderson, Team Silicon Valley Bank
- Joanne Kiesanowski, Team Silicon Valley Bank
- Max Motschwiller, Team Silicon Valley Bank
- Samantha Schneider, Team Silicon Valley Bank
- Kristabel Doebel, Team Silicon Valley Bank
- Christine Thorburn, Team Silicon Valley Bank
- Carl Hekkert, Team Silicon Valley Bank
- Jeff Zamczyk, Team Silicon Valley Bank
- Tobin Ortenblad, Team Giant
Fastest Team: Team SVB
Fastest 100-Mile Cyclists
- Male: Ted Huang
- Female: Joanne Kiesanowski
Fastest 100-Kilometer Cyclists
- Male: Doug Hamilton
- Female: Pat Real
Fastest 30-Mile Cyclists
- Male: Anand Swaminathan
- Female: Claire Grosjean
Fastest 15-Mile Cyclists
- Male: Greg Becker
- Female: Mary Anne Bohan
Fastest 5K Runners
- Male: Erik Ulloa
- Female: Katie Thomas