NBC Today Show host Savannah Guthrie and Anthony Kennedy Shriver joined David Bryan, Tony and Grammy Award-winning composer and lyricist, and founding member of legendary band Bon Jovi for the Best Buddies New York 2016 Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall. The concert featured special performances by Bryan and award-winning concert pianist Elaine Kwon; individuals with special needs shared their talents on stage as well.
The benefit concert raised nearly $400,000 to support Best Buddies New York’s programs, which promote social inclusion for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Anthony Kennedy Shriver, son of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and nephew of President Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy, founded Best Buddies International in 1989. He carries on the long-standing family tradition of activism for people with intellectual disabilities.
President Kennedy founded the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation. He also became the first president (and the first head of state anywhere in the world) to welcome a person with intellectual disabilities as an official guest (in Kennedy’s instance, to the White House).
Eunice Shriver, who was the founder and driving force of the Special Olympics, served as a board member of Best Buddies International and for 20 years chaired the Auction Committee of the Best Buddies Ball held at her home in Potomac, Maryland. Her husband, the late Sargent Shriver, first Director of the Peace Corps, was also an active supporter of Best Buddies for many years.
Today, Best Buddies New York operates chapters on 16 middle school, 37 high school, and 10 college campuses from Long Island to the boroughs of New York City, and beyond to Westchester, Albany and Buffalo. For more information about this terrific group, go to BestBuddies.org.