Lots of non-profit organizations use endurance bike rides and other inspirational challenges to help raise money. But, when it comes to fund-raising firepower, it’s pretty hard to compete with the Best Buddies Hyannis Port Challenge. That’s because the two-day event gives VIP donors the chance to literally play football with 5-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, ride 100-miles from Boston to Cape Cod with Tour De France stars George Hincapie and Christian Vande Velde, and then attend VIP parties in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
The Challenge always ends in Hyannis Port because Best Buddies is an international organization founded by Anthony Shriver (a long-time Hyannis Port resident and nephew of JFK) in 1989 to foster opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This year’s challenge raised over $6 million to help the organization continue making a real difference in peoples lives. And the post-ride party at Shriver’s large beach house overlooking Nantucket Sound in Hyannis Port was a star-studded affair.
But even after riding with those legendary pro cyclists on the 100-mile course, and attending the superbly organized post-ride events for myself—including the exclusively inclusive VIP party at the Shriver home—I have to say, meeting the people and families who benefit from Best Buddies the most, during the ride and at the parties, was the highlight of the event for me.
Even playing a tiny part in Best Buddies effort to end the social, physical and economic isolation of millions people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can be a moving experience. I’m sure most participants would agree. And I bet you will too.
For more information, visit bestbuddies.com