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A small choir serenaded guests as they arrived at a lush Malibu compound for the Best Buddies Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday. Chauffeured Cadillacs dropped off celebrities like Cindy Crawford, Maria Shriver, Milla Jovovich and Vanessa Hudgens, who came to support an organization that provides mentors for developmentally disabled children.
Crawford, who has been involved with the Best Buddies for over 20 years, hosted the event with her daughter, Kaia Gerber, and the supermodel spoke forcefully for the ability of the organization to change kids lives.
“So many times, especially as children, we’re afraid of things that are unfamiliar to us, that we don’t know. By having interaction with people, like kids with intellectual disabilities, first of all, the thing that you’re guaranteed is the biggest, most genuine hug you’ve ever had. Also, the barriers come down. You just connect as human beings. So I love this organization.”
The brunch provided awards for the state, national and international mothers of the year, and the award winners told hundreds of guests about the positive impact that Best Buddies has had on their lives and the lives of their children.
Michael Chiklis, who has worked with the organization for over a decade, spoke about the joy he felt during a recent FaceTime conversation with his best buddies. “They saw me on the screen, and they were freaking out because they’re big Fantastic Four fans. To see the level of joy it brought these three guys, it was fantastic. I know it’s a little thing, but by the time I hung up the FaceTime with those guys, I just felt so good. It’s lovely when you leave someone feeling really good and valued.”
There was a carnival-like atmosphere at the event where children played with a petting zoo full of baby goats and pigs, while their parents sipped champagne and nibbled on Sprinkles cupcakes.
Holly Robinson Peete told THR the very personal reason why Best Buddies was so important to her. “Best Buddies is one of my favorite charities. I’ve been involved with them for many years, and then in 2000 my son was diagnosed with autism. So I really thought about kids with developmental differences and who learn differently, and that’s a part of who I am and our family.”
Anthony Kennedy Shriver created Best Buddies in 1989, partially as a tribute to his mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who founded the Special Olympics. The organization currently has over 1,500 chapters based in schools all over the world.
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