A Message From Anthony K. Shriver:
Thank you so much for your support of the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Washington, D.C. We have had a wonderful run over the past five years with you. As a result of your efforts, we have established stronger programs in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area and launched a new Jobs Program that keeps progressing every year and continues to help our Best Buddies Jobs participants become self-supporting through their own hard work and contributions.
We are also thankful for all of our dedicated sponsors and teams that have joined our cause year after year. As many of you may know, the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Washington, D.C. began with the support of Audi of America and we are eternally grateful for their continued programmatic and team-engagement support on so many levels.
It is bittersweet for me to announce that we will be changing our event format this year and going forward. In the near future, you will receive an update from our team regarding a new Friendship Walk and special Gala event that we are launching in Washington, D.C. to replace the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Washington, D.C. We believe these new events will provide a more accessible format which will encourage a larger and more cost-effective base of support for Best Buddies’ mission of social inclusion, friendship and integrated employment for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Please click on the following link for more details about our Best Buddies Friendship Walk: Capital Region – www.bestbuddies.org/capitalwalk
Like many of you, I have become a cycling enthusiast and still want to ride. We will be offering a special program for our D.C. alumni to participate with me in our Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle and Best Buddies Challenge: Miami’s “Get On My Wheel Peloton Club.” We will be setting up a turnkey registration program and our team will provide suggestions for logistical support such as airfare, hotel, car transfer and even bike rentals. We will make it as easy as possible for you to participate in another one of our five-star rides. Additionally, our rides team has created these special packages and will assist you in handling all of the logistics. We would be thrilled to have you, your family, and your friends join us this year in Boston, Massachusetts as we ride to the beautiful Cape Cod on May 30; or in Carmel, California as we ride up the Pacific Coast Highway to the majestic Hearst Castle on September 12; and finally in Miami on November 20. For details on how you can ride in our special “Get On My Wheel Peloton Club,” please email Coach@bestbuddies.org.
Although I have had to face the unfortunate challenge of making this difficult decision, I am excited to embark on the next chapter in Best Buddies history. I am confident that the Capital Region will continue to play a pivotal role in the story of Best Buddies’ success and I hope that you will be there for it. I have included a Best Buddies story of a true friendship between Kelvin and Anna to help us reflect on why we are all working so hard to support this cause. Thank you for your support.
Anthony K. Shriver
Founder and Chairman, Best Buddies International
Our Mission In Action —
The friendship between Kelvin Cifuentes and Anna Tramposch is entirely genuine and has truly stood the test of time, but Kelvin wasn’t sure what to expect when he first joined Best Buddies.
“I suddenly had a whole new group of friends!”
When I started high school at Yorktown, I never would have imagined it would be this fun! I didn’t know what Best Buddies was, but my teacher convinced me I should go to a meeting my freshman year. She said it would be fun and I would make a lot of friends. She was right! That’s what Best Buddies is all about…real friendship. Just by going to one meeting, I suddenly had a whole new group of friends!
In the past four years, Kelvin and Anna have become best friends, Anna even threw Kelvin a surprise 18th birthday party. They have also accomplished a great deal in their ongoing mission to promote social inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They have attended Best Buddies Annual Leadership Conference together, and they’ve spoken at several major events, including the 2013 Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Washington, D.C. and Best Buddies Virginia’s 9th Annual Life is Sweet Chef Showcase.
Through all of the ups and downs of high school, Kelvin and Anna have supported and encouraged one another, each pushing the other to be the best s/he can be. When Kelvin wanted to join Anna in running the 5K at the 2013 D.C. Challenge Fun Run, Anna, an outstanding runner, encouraged him to register. They trained together nearly every day starting several months before the race and it was incredibly moving to see them cross the finish line together, then speak to the crowd at Morven Park about their wonderful friendship.
Anna and Kelvin joined Best Buddies to have fun and make new friends. Both agree that it’s much more fun to celebrate one another than to notice people’s disabilities, and that there are no limits to friendship.