Team Maria in Capitol Morning Report

September 15, 2015

Justin Knighten of Lucas Public Affairs reports that 100 members of “Team Maria,” led by former CA First Lady Maria Shriver and Lt.  Gov. Gavin Newsom, pedaled their bicycles Saturday along the Pacific Coast Highway for the “Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle,” an annual fundraiser for Best Buddies International. They raised more than $270,000 this year to benefit the non-profit started by Anthony Shriver, Shriver’s brother, that raises money for programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. However, Anthony could not attend the event this year — he was diagnosed with malaria late last week. Though Shriver was planning for this year to be her last as chairwoman of the Challenge, she decided to commit to one more year due to her brother’s absence. After her declaration, Knighten says a voice in a crowd chanted “four more years, four more years” in a “classic political rally fashion.” During the day, participants completed a 5k walk or one of four bike courses between Carmel and Hearst Castle in San Simeon that were 15, 30, 60 and 100 miles in length. Later, the team enjoyed a barbecue hosted by Steve Hearst and music by The Pointer Sisters.  The day ended with a private VIP reception at Hearst Castle.  Other “Team Maria” members included State Librarian Greg Lucas; Nancy McFadden and John Masterson from Governor Brown’s Office; Karen Skelton from Skelton Strategies; Maricela Rodriguez and Marisol Avina from The California Endowment; Shriver’s sons Patrick and Christopher Schwarzenegger; Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen; and staff from Lucas Public Affairs and Dewey Square Group. Since the team began in 2009, Knighten, Donna Lucas of Lucas Public Affairs and Tamara Torlakson of Dewey Square Group have worked with Shriver and Newsom to raise more than $2 million for Best Buddies.

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