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Best Buddies Spotlight
By Ginney Robertson

The first week of October was a busy time for Best Buddies. On Saturday, October 6th. the 13th Annual Best Buddies Ball was held in Potomac, Maryland. This is the biggest fundraiser that Best Buddies has all year, and has a feature that is unique to our other fundraiser events: Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver graciously open their home for ball every year.

This year, over 700 hundred guests attend the Ball. After a warm greeting at the front door by our hosts, Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies Founder Anthony K. Shriver and his wife, Alina, and the Ball Chairman Rick Kay and his wife, and Ball Honoree Maria Shriver, guests mingled while bidding on items in a silent auction. Several guest speakers and buddy greeters where invited for the evening, including e-Buddies Jorge Morilla, Robert Plante, and Daniel Thompson.

After a mini-live auction, the guests headed into the dinner tent, where the real fun began. After dinner, another live auction was held with items like an Andrew Wyeth print of President John F. Kennedy, a Michael Jordan signed Washington Wizards jersey, and a five-night stay in Rome and Venice, Italy. All of the auctions raised over $200,000.00 for Best Buddies.

Then came the big award! Maria Shriver was honored this year with our Spirit of Leadership Award. Maria was chosen for this year's award because of her new book What's Wrong with Timmy?, which donates some of the profits to Best Buddies along with Special Olympics. After receiving the award from last year's winner, AOL Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis, Maria spoke to everyone about inclusion for people with mental retardation.

To wrap up the evening, Kool and the Gang put on a great show and the guests danced the night away. We look forward to next year and hope that happier times will surround us in the planning of an even bigger and better Best Buddies Ball.



Ginney Robertson writes the Best Buddies Spotlight article each month for the e-Beat. If you have any questions or ideas for future articles, please contact her at GinneyR@bestbuddies.org.

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