A Thank You from Anthony K. Shriver

September 12, 2018

WOW—what an incredible weekend! It was an absolute honor to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle with all of you.

With phenomenal supporters who truly believe in our organization’s mission, we came together to raise $5 million to expand inclusion for every person with and without special abilities, making this the most successful event EVER! The weekend kicked off with an amazing new beachside Friday Night Opening Ceremonies, where Maria Shriver presented the inaugural Nancy McFadden Award to Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom for his leadership, integrity, generosity and spirit in supporting the Best Buddies mission of friendship and inclusion for people with special abilities. We finished the evening with our annual jersey competition where Team Best Buddies Central Valley took the first place prize.

At the barbeque, it was an honor to announce that Steve and Barbara Hearst made an incredible $1 million donation to support friendship, jobs, and leadership development so we can build a more inclusive world. Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle Honorary Chair Carl Guardino gave a heartfelt speech about being better, not bitter in the face of adversity that left the crowd feeling empowered. That same sentiment was echoed by my sister, Maria Shriver, as she presented the Nancy McFadden Award to John Masterson, who has worked at the Governor’s office in Sacramento as an advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Soulville California Band came back to rock the party and had everyone dancing until the very end! This weekend has once again shown me what an amazing group of people can do when we come together to support inclusion and friendship.

As we heard from Best Buddies Ambassador Daniel Mirtes on Saturday evening, your participation in this event dramatically changes lives. “Best Buddies not only helped with forming friendships with neurotypical people, but also, most importantly, helped me find a job that best suited my skills and interests. Soon after I started working for Verus Healthcare, the company took notice of me and my hard work and within a year of being employed I was promoted to my dream job. Best Buddies has made such a huge impact on my life that in 2017, I won the Best Buddies Jobs Employee of the Year. Within a short amount of time I have been able to accomplish so much in my job and personal life with the help of this organization.”

Thank you for celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle. We’re excited to return to the Pacific Coast Highway and celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Best Buddies in 2019, I hope you’ll join us!

In Friendship,

Anthony K. Shriver

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