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Phillip Chai and Cristie Rubin, Best Buddies Members for 13 Years, Named Volvo For Life Friendship Award Recipients


For Immediate Release



The pair will accept the award and a $25,000 charitable donation at the Volvo for life Awards Times Square Awards Ceremony March 24


MIAMI - March 14, 2005 - Phillip Chai and Cristie Rubin, of Miami, Fla., have been named the Volvo for life Friendship Award recipients for their outstanding involvement and contributions to the Best Buddies program. As the Friendship Award honorees they will receive a $25,000 charitable contribution and recognition during the third annual Volvo for life Awards.


The Volvo for life Friendship Award is a special honor exclusively for Best Buddies members, with Best Buddies calling on members and supporters nationwide to nominate an extraordinary friendship pair. Each year a panel of judges selects one of the nominated pairs to receive the award for their friendship, contributions to Best Buddies and dedication to the organization’s mission.


Volvo is a proud national sponsor of Best Buddies, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment.


Chai and Rubin, members since 1992, met through the Best Buddies chapter at the University of Miami. Over the course of their friendship, the pair has shared many Thanksgiving and holiday celebrations, trips to Disney World and Jamaica and lots of laughter. Through the years both have supported each other in competition, life’s challenges and rewards. To Rubin, "Best Buddies has meant the gift of Phillip, who has shown me the meaning of unconditional love and friendship.”


“Best Buddies makes me feel proud of myself...makes me feel like a human being,” Chai said. The pair has inspired countless others to proudly join Best Buddies, including Rubin’s sister, Lily, the current College Buddy Director at the University of Miami.


Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,000 middle school, high school and college campuses across the country and internationally. Programs today reach all 50 of the United States, as well as countries around the world. In addition to the traditional campus-based volunteer activities, Best Buddies helps people with intellectual disabilities connect with others through an innovative online friendship program called e-Buddies.


The Friendship Award recipients receive recognition during the annual Volvo for life Awards ceremony, the largest-ever national search for and celebration of everyday heroes, with Volvo Cars of North America providing $1 million annually in awards and contributions.


The third annual Volvo for life Awards, hosted by actor Jim Belushi, will be held in Times Square on Thursday, March 24, and will feature musical performances and celebrity appearances. For more information on the Volvo for life Awards and to view hundreds of nominee stories, visit

Contact: On behalf of Best Buddies:

Joslyn Matthews,

305-374-2233, ext. 207

Contact: On behalf of Volvo for life Awards:

Eric Davis,

Haberman & Associates,



Sören Johansson,

Volvo Cars of North America,



For photos and more information on the Volvo for life Awards:

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