Fourth Annual Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Washington, D.C. Raises $2.5 Million for Best Buddies International
WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2013 – Close to 1,500 people took part in the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Washington, D.C. – a charity walk, run and ride chaired by Scott Keogh, President of Audi of America, on Saturday, October 19. The Challenge raised $2.5 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).
The Challenge kicked-off with two events on Friday, October 18. Kyrie Irving, NBA superstar for the Cleveland Cavaliers and a Best Buddies Global Ambassador, hosted an exciting basketball clinic for students from Oakton and Yorktown High Schools. Later that evening, top supporters – including Keogh, Irving, and Best Buddies Founder and Chairman Anthony K. Shriver’s siblings and their families – attended a cocktail reception hosted by Lynn & Ted Leonsis in their magnificent Potomac, Maryland estate. Link to photos here: http://bit.ly/1fNpBWp and http://bit.ly/179YfYa.
On Saturday, Challenge participants headed to the Poolesville Golf Course in Poolesville, Maryland, to take part in the event’s festivities. Due to the federal government shutdown, this year’s event featured a 62-mile (100K) route starting at the Poolesville Golf Course, led by Challenge Chairman Keogh, and a 20-mile route which started at Audi of AmericaHeadquarters in Herndon, Virginia.
The Challenge, which was open to participants of all ages and abilities and designed to showcase the Best Buddies mission in action, also featured a 5K run/walk, which more than 800 students and supporters participated in. Afterward, they celebrated with a dance party hosted by radio personality Tommy McFly and Anthony Shriver’s 12-year-old daughter, Carolina, featuring musical guests Nat & Alex Wolff, previously known as The Naked Brothers Band.
Several other celebrities, professional athletes and special guests also attended the Challenge including: Actor Kevin Spacey; actress Polly Draper; professional cyclist George Hincapie; NBC4 Washington Anchor Doreen Gentzler; Miss District of Columbia USA 2013 Jessica Frith; Miss District of Columbia Teen USA 2013 Despina Ades; Miss Teen USA 2013 Cassidy Wolf; and Anthony K. Shriver’s siblings – Maria, Mark and Timothy – and their respective families.
Several of the organization’s own superstars delivered powerful speeches throughout the weekend, including Best Buddies Ambassadors Daniel Noltemeyer, Wayne Reed, and Lydia Vreeland.
The Challenge was capped off with an awards ceremony, gourmet luncheon and private performance by Capital Cities at Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia.
Overall, the weekend had many highlights:
*NBA superstar Kyrie Irving switched positions from point guard to referee as he led Best Buddies volunteers and students during a friendly scrimmage basketball game at Oakton High School in Vienna, Virginia.
*President of Audi of America Scott Keogh kicked off Saturday’s events as he led cyclists during the 100-K (62-mile) route from Poolesville Golf Course down to Morven Park.
*Challenge Chairman Ted Leonsis and his buddy Ken Holden led more than 800 participants in the 5K Walk/Run.
*Actor Kevin Spacey jumped on a tandem bike with Best Buddies participant Turner Harris for the Friendship Races, which had them race against competing buddy pairs around a two-mile criterium loop. Spacey later posed for photos with student winners and co-hosted the awards ceremony in the Victory Celebration tent.
*Washington Wizards cheerleaders were there to welcome cyclists with loud cheers and applause as they crossed the finish line at Morven Park. Two of the cheerleaders later put down their pom-poms and teamed up to ride in the Friendship Races with other Best Buddies participants and supporters.
*Pop band Capital Cities rocked the crowd down in the Victory Celebration tent, performing songs from their latest album, including the chart-topping hit “Safe and Sound.”
Audi returned for the fourth year as Title Sponsor of the Challenge. More than 150 Audi employees participated in the festivities as part of Team Audi, which raised more than $120,000 for the cause.
Additional Challenge sponsors include: Jim Lintott and May Liang, Capital Trust Group, Klingman and Associates, LLC, the Las Vegas Sands Corp., FIJI Water, Pepsi, Rosetta Stone, the Leonsis Foundation, Pilot Air Freight, Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers, The Fairmont Washington, D.C, Vocus, Melinda Jacobs, CSC, Kelly Benefit Strategies, Clear Channel, Capitol File, Bicycling Magazine, Getty Images and NBC4.
Challenge Photos are available at:
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.
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