Audi Announces Celebrity Attendees of Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle
- Audi and Best Buddies Team up for First Fund-Raising Event of Partnership
- Rob Lowe to Drive Audi RS Friendship Pace Car
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Sept. 7 -- Audi, in conjunction with Best Buddies International today announced the anticipated celebrity attendees at this year's Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle on September 8. With Audi as a first-time host and title sponsor of this annual charity bicycle tour, Audi of America's Western Region director Michael Cagle, and other senior executives will welcome celebrity guests and riders, including Maria Shriver and her husband, California's governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, legendary actor and director Clint Eastwood, Lacey Chabert of Mean Girls and TV's Party of Five, The Bachelor's Andy Baldwin and Tessa Horst, celebrity trainer Kim Lyons, Gunter Schlierkamp from Beerfest and The Hulk, The Ex-Wives Clubs' Marla Maples, actor Greg German and Adrian Pasdar from TV's Heroes to the historic Hearst Castle in northern California's San Simeon Hills. Actor Rob Lowe (Brothers and Sisters, The West Wing) will lead the peloton through the first 20 miles of a challenging 100 mile ride along the Pacific Coast Highway in an Audi RS4 Friendship pace car, hand painted by noted Brazilian artist Romero Britto. Audi will also provide 35 cars to shuttle guests to and from the event.
The Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle is a bicycle tour taking riders from Chateau Julien in Carmel to the Hearst Ranch in San Simeon. California's First Lady, Maria Shriver, will serve as Honorary Chairperson and will also ride in the event. In addition to celebrity riders, an Audi team composed of customers, executives, and members of Audi's ad agency Venables, Bell and Partners will participate. Notable cyclists such as Axel Merckx, Aaron Olsen, Kimberly Baldwin and Kim Anderson will join Audi and Best Buddies, as well. Olympic medalist and former world champion Mari Holden will return to the Audi Best Buddies Challenge for the third straight year.
"Since our partnership with Best Buddies began in June, the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle is the first major event we've had the opportunity to help lead," said Johan de Nysschen, executive vice president, Audi of America. "Just as Best Buddies is leading its field through innovation and a pioneering spirit, Audi's constant dedication to engineering the best cars in the world makes our organizations a perfect fit. Nowhere is Audi's commitment to social responsibility better showcased than in extraordinary events such as this, which join luminaries across many industries to a tremendous charitable cause. We are excited to welcome Audi and Best Buddies supporting guests, including California's Governor and First Lady Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, legendary actor and director Clint Eastwood, Lacey Chabert of Mean Girls and TV's Party of Five, The Bachelor's Andy Baldwin and Tessa Horst, celebrity trainer Kim Lyons, Gunter Schlierkamp from Beerfest and The Hulk, The Ex-Wives Clubs' Marla Maples, actor Greg German and Adrian Pasdar from TV's Heroes and many others to help us raise money to further Best Buddies' great work."
Actor Rob Lowe, current star of hit ABC television series Brothers and Sisters, will lead hundreds of riders through the first 20 miles of the course. "I believe strongly in Best Buddies' cause, so the opportunity to drive a high-performance Audi through Northern California and lead so many people that I admire both personally and professionally was one I couldn't pass up," Lowe said.
Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a nonprofit that provides opportunities for one-to-one friendship and integrated employment to participants in more than 1,300 chapters in 32 countries. Audi and Best Buddies proudly announced their new partnership in June of 2007. For the next five years, Audi will be the exclusive automotive sponsor of Best Buddies within the Americas and support numerous projects and fundraising events in Europe and overseas.
"Best Buddies is thrilled to welcome Audi as a title sponsor for this event," said Anthony Kennedy Shriver. "Audi's commitment to social responsibility is unparalleled, and Best Buddies is incredibly grateful for the dedication the entire company has shown to our mission of friendship and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities. With its incredible fleet of automobiles and stable of celebrity supporters, the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle promises to be one of the most important charity events of the year."
Riders depart Chateau Julian at 7am on September 8th. An exclusive post- ride celebration held at the Hearst Castle Ranch will feature a barbeque cookout and private concert by classic rock icons Cheap Trick for all ride participants and special guests.
ABOUT AUDI OF AMERICA
As of June 2007, Audi is the exclusive automobile sponsor of Best Buddies International in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Audi is the title sponsor for all cycling/ride events benefiting Best Buddies, and will provide all official vehicles for Best Buddies fundraising and special events in these markets.
Audi of America, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Audi's history in America dates to 1969, when the brand was first introduced to the U.S. market. Today, a network of over 260 Audi dealers currently offers a line of premium vehicles that include the Audi A3 premium compact; the sporty A4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models; the high performance S4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models; the high-revving RS 4 sports sedan; the design-leading A6 sedan and Avant; the all-new Audi Q7 performance SUV; and the all-aluminum Audi A8; and the new V10-powered S6 and S8 performance sedans. For more information, please visit www.audiusa.com.
ABOUT BEST BUDDIES INTERNATIONAL
The Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle benefits Best Buddies International, a nonprofit 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 1,300 middle school, high school, and college campuses across the country and internationally. Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of the 50 United States and have accredited international programs on six continents; with additional country programs under active development. The six formal programs - Best Buddies Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies and Jobs - positively impact more than 350,000 individuals.
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