Anthony Shriver talks about upcoming fundraiser for Best Buddies

July 31, 2012 7:06:18 PM PDT
You may want to join a fundraiser coming up next month to help people with developmental disabilities to create friendships and a future. There will be 1,500 people who will run, walk and cycle Highway 1 from Carmel to Hearst Castle to raise money for the program called Best Buddies. ABC7 spoke with the program's founder Anthony Shriver.

Bicyclists, walkers and runners will trek the 100 miles along the spectacular coast after playing golf with Clint Eastwood in Carmel, winding up with a barbeque and music at Hearst Castle.

"If you want to ride 15 miles, you ride 15 miles. You want to ride 35? 35, 100 [kilometers] or 100 miles. There are people who run 5k with Carl Lewis, which is pretty exciting," said Shriver.

It is the ninth Best Buddies Challenge hosted by Shriver's sister, Maria, and Gavin Newsom. It has raised $30 million for Best Buddies in the last eight years. Shriver started Best Buddies in university 23 years ago to provide friendship, and leadership to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

"I think when people see the impact that Best Buddies has and the real way it changes people with intellectual disabilities' lives, it gives them really good, solid paying jobs, builds their self confidence, increasing mentoring opportunities for people with disabilities and educates our young people in schools about people who are different," said Shriver.

It develops an understanding of tolerance, inclusion, acceptance, he says. There are now 1,500 chapters around the world and it has changed the lives of 700,000 people. With this, Shriver follows the lead set by his mother when she established the Special Olympics. It's the Kennedy-Shriver way to give back.

"I think that's why so many people in my family love doing it because it's really meaningful work, and it makes you feel great about your life and what you're doing with your life," said Shriver.

Shriver says his goal is to eliminate Best Buddies some day. And then might he enter politics? He has that Kennedy look, voice, passion for a cause.

"I don't know, we'll see where we go, but I'll always be involved in something that makes me feel like I'm contributing in a meaningful way," said Shriver.

The kickoff for the Best Buddies Challenge is September 7th. The ride is September 8th.


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