This year, more than 1,000 people participated in the 24th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port presented by Shaw’s and Star Market Foundation and The TJX Companies, Inc., a cycling, run and walk fundraiser from Boston to Hyannis Port, on June 2-3.
The Challenge raised close to $4 million in total donations for Best Buddies International, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
The weekend’s festivities commenced with an intimate cocktail reception at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. The reception included a guided museum tour and performances by Best Buddies Ambassadors Christina Hundley and James Keith.
On Saturday, June 3, hundreds of riders took to the 100-mile start line at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, led by professional cyclist Cam Wurf, Current US Pro Women’s Road Champion Emma Langley, and World Champion and Olympic medalist Mari Holden. During the opening ceremonies, Rob Backus, President of Shaw’s and Star Market, presented a $400,000 donation to Best Buddies as part of an in-store campaign across New England.
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, including Wells Fargo’s Chief Operating Officer Scott Powell at the 100-mile, and nine-time Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis at the 20-mile start line.
The Challenge was capped off by a celebratory clambake where Celebrity Chef Buddy Valastro presented Best Buddies with a gold medal cake to commemorate the achievements of participants who completed the weekend’s bike ride. The event also included a special appearance by Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Multi-Hyphenate Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson.
NFL star and Best Buddies International Board Member Chris Lindstrom was among those who joined guests down at the Finish Line in Hyannis Port for the celebratory clambake. Later that evening, guests enjoyed a private reception at the Kennedy-Shriver family home.
During the festivities, Best Buddies Founder Anthony K. Shriver auctioned off Pinarello’s new Dogma F Road Bike, a top-tier racing machine, for $16,000, and later encouraged guests to “Sponsor a Buddy” which gives Best Buddies participants the opportunity to attend Best Buddies International Leadership Conference in July. In total, “Sponsor a Buddy” raised $13,000 at Saturday’s clambake.
This year’s Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port was another record-breaking success, and an excellent stride in making the world more inclusive for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities!
This year’s Challenge sponsors included: presenting Sponsors Shaw’s and Star Market Foundation and The TJX Companies, Inc.; Hyannis Port Club Sponsors BODYARMOR – The Official Water & Sports Beverage Partner of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Impossible Foods, Seyfarth, Wells Fargo, WHDH/Channel 7; Cape Club Sponsors Planned Lifetime Assistance Network (PLAN) of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Inc., Volvo Car USA; Craigville Beach Club Sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Crescent Capital Partners, Eaton Vance/Morgan Stanley, Mark Edward Partners, ServiceNow, Teddie Peanut Butter, Vertex Pharmaceuticals , and Tito’s Handmade Vodka – The Official Vodka Sponsor of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port; Media Sponsor WHDH/Channel 7 – The Official Media Sponsor of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port; Official Bike Sponsor Pinarello; In-Kind Sponsors Gourmet Caterers, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and Night Shift Brewing, The Official Beer Sponsor of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port.