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Honorary Chairperson Maria Shriver Leads 500 Riders, Celebrities and Professional Athletes in the 2nd Annual Volvo Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle


For Immediate Release


100% of Rider Donations Directly Benefits Best Buddies Programs Worldwide


SAN FRANCISCO – The second annual Volvo Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle is a nationally televised (CBS Sports), 100-mile cycling fundraiser on October 1, 2005, that takes riders along the Pacific Coast Highway from Carmel to the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, with 15, 62, and 30-mile companion rides. First Lady of California Maria Shriver serves as Honorary Chairperson and will be riding in the event.


The Challenge promises breathtaking views of the California coastline, challenging terrain (4,430 ft. elevation gain throughout the 100-mile course) and the active participation by celebrities and people with intellectual disabilities. An exclusive post-ride celebration held at the Hearst Castle Ranch will feature a BBQ cookout and private concert by the Goo Goo Dolls for all ride participants and special guests. The ride benefits Best Buddies International, a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing them with opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment.


“I have been a longtime supporter of the Best Buddies mission because it inspires volunteerism, fosters friendships in unexpected places, and changes the lives of people with intellectual disabilities,” said Maria Shriver. “Through this type of service, we can all participate in improving ourselves and our communities, while creating lasting friendships in the process.”


“Best Buddies is excited to return to California after the success of last year’s inaugural Volvo Best Buddies Challenge at Hearst Castle,” said Anthony K. Shriver, founder and chairman of Best Buddies International. “Our cycling events not only raise money to support our programs, they allow people with intellectual disabilities to showcase their athletic abilities by riding 100 miles. With the continued support of our sponsors and participants, we are confident this ride will raise an unprecedented $2.5 million to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through friendships and jobs. ”


Buddy Pair Participation

Buddy Pairs, consisting of one rider with an intellectual disability and a non-disabled partner, will attend The Challenge representing everywhere from Florida to Mexico. The pairs will ride 100 miles on tandem bicycles to complete what will be for many of them their first experience participating in an event of this magnitude and difficulty. Riders can rest and refuel at four manned rest stops at Rocky Point, Vista Point, Sand Dollar, and Ragged Point. To celebrate the participants’ accomplishments, Anthony K. Shriver, Maria Shriver and members of the Hearst family will welcome the cyclists and celebrities to the Hearst Castle Ranch for an exclusive post-event party that includes a world-class BBQ feast and private concert by the Goo Goo Dolls.


Celebrity Endorsement

Best Buddies and its Friendship Rides are actively supported throughout Hollywood and the athletic communities. Celebrity participants in past and upcoming Best Buddies Friendship Rides have included three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, Olympians Carl Lewis and Greg Louganis, and Hall of Fame outfielder Willie Mays; actresses Garcelle Beauvais (Barbershop 2) Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds), Thora Birch (American Beauty), Kelly Hu (X2), Marlee Matlin (West Wing), Gabrielle Carteris (90210) and Joan Cusack (High Fidelity); actors Rob Lowe (Dr. Vegas), Tom Arnold (The Kid & I), Tate Donovan (The O.C.), David Caruso and Jonathan Togo (CSI: Miami), and Esai Morales (NYPD Blue); super models Cindy Crawford, Niki Taylor and Fabio; NFL stars Tom Brady, Drew Bledsoe, Tedy Bruschi and Doug Flutie; Senator John F. Kerry and members of the Kennedy and Shriver families.


Sponsor Involvement and Fundraising

Since 2000, Best Buddies Friendship Rides have raised $9.1 million for Best Buddies programs worldwide. This year’s goal is to raise an additional $2.5 million. Volvo Cars of North America, the title sponsor for both the Hyannis Port and Hearst Castle Challenges, is sending a team of riders to Carmel in October. “The Volvo Best Buddies Challenge is an exciting event that we are proud to support in Massachusetts and California,” said Anne Bélec, CEO, Volvo Cars of North America. “Being involved with Best Buddies is a great fit for the Volvo brand which is all about character, care and conscience. These values are exemplified with Best Buddies and our involvement allows up to put them into practice.” Other sponsors of The Challenge include Pepsi, BP, the San Francisco Chronicle, AshBritt Environmental, BP, Silicon Valley Bank, the California Integrated Waste Management Board, and Ameriquest Mortgage. Due to Volvo’s underwriting of event expenses as title sponsor, 100% of funds raised by riders will directly benefit Best Buddies programs. To find out more about Best Buddies or the Volvo Best Buddies Challenge, visit


About Best Buddies International

The Volvo Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle benefits Best Buddies International, a non-profit organization Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver. Best Buddies is a vibrant, international organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,000 middle school, high school, and college campuses across the country and internationally. Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of the 50 United States. We have accredited international programs on six continents; with additional country programs under active development. Our six formal programs – Best Buddies Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies and Jobs – positively impact more than 250,000 individuals. Best Buddies also is systematically implementing our 2010 initiative that will witness the organization’s continued significant growth, both domestically and overseas. Best Buddies volunteers annually contribute, at no cost to their communities, support services that equate to $61 million USD.




Best Buddies International



100 SE Second Street, Suite 2200

Miami, Florida 33131



Joslyn Matthews

305-374-2233, ext. 207

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