Power on, power forward with Team Maria

July 25, 2018

Dear Team Maria,

This past March, Team Maria lost a sister and the world lost a warrior deeply committed to moving humanity forward and living a life of friendship and purpose. I am humbled and pleased to announce that Team Maria will be riding in this year’s Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle to honor our friend Nancy McFadden, a dedicated public servant who was a fearless trailblazer and loyal friend to Best Buddies.

Additionally, there will be a Nancy McFadden Award presented during the Hearst Castle Challenge to recipients who, like Nancy, have shown great leadership, integrity, generosity and spirit in supporting the Best Buddies mission of friendship and inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). These are important qualities in people worth recognizing and fostering more of in the world and in our communities.

Nancy embodied the true spirit of Best Buddies and deeply believed in the power of friendship and inclusion to make a positive difference in people’s lives. She worked tirelessly to create a world that recognized, respected and celebrated people with special abilities. During her tenure as chief of staff for California Governor Jerry Brown, she successfully secured state funding for Best Buddies programs year after year. Nancy also led the movement to hire individuals with IDD in the political space, by hiring Best Buddies Jobs participants in Governor Brown’s office.

Nancy was a driving force behind Team Maria, one of the top fundraising teams led by and for the people. Since 2008, Team Maria has raised a total of $2,620,991 for Best Buddies! Nancy loved that we have always been the people’s team made up of many different groups, companies, families and anyone looking for a place to belong, to feel included. In addition to her work with Team Maria, Nancy leveraged many other local constituents and businesses for support, including top corporations such as PG&E.

Nancy was the personification of the Best Buddies mission and an indispensable asset to Best Buddies programs in California. She understood the importance of genuine friendships; she has always been a dear friend to me and to so many of you. She believed in meaningful employment and self-advocacy for those within the IDD community, and she made this a reality for Best Buddies participants throughout the State of California. Nancy’s legacy lives on and her work will continue to impact the lives of those with special abilities for many years to come.

We will ride for Nancy, for ourselves and for each other. We will ride as a team for Best Buddies, an organization that powers on in 50 states, 6 continents and 48 counties in the name of jobs, friendship and inclusion. Together, Team Maria will power forward along the beautiful California coastline as an act of friendship to support the organization and people we love.

I am so thrilled to be returning to this year’s Hearst Castle Challenge, along with Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, who will once again join me as co-captain of Team Maria and Honorary Chair of the ride. Please join us on Saturday, September 8, 2018 – you can register for the team, here. Please visit GoTeamMaria.com for more information on our team and the Hearst Castle Challenge, and to help us reach our fundraising goals.

I’m excited to see you, soon. Get ready to power on and power forward. Get ready for yippee moments!


Maria Shriver

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