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Palm Beach  Society News  Pages 1 
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Black Tie International:
Third Annual Audi Best Buddies Palm Beach Gala
Raises More Than Half A Million Dollars for Best Buddies International

Gala Co-Chair, Mark Freitas, Mary Freitas and Gala Co-Chair, Thomas Quick

Gala Co-Chair, Mark Freitas, Mary Freitas and Gala Co-Chair, Thomas Quick
Photo by: Lucien Capehart


Third Annual Audi Best Buddies Palm Beach Gala, Presented by Mark Edward Partners, Raises More than Half A Million Dollars For Best Buddies International

Palm Beach, FL – March 22, 2011 – Nearly 300 people attended the Third Annual Audi Palm Beach Gala, presented by Mark Edward Partners, at the breathtaking Mar-A-Lago on Friday, March 18. The Gala raised $550,000 in total donations for Best Buddies International, a vibrant organization founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Mark E. Freitas and Thomas C. Quick served as Co-Chairs, Donald J. Trump served as International Honorary Chairman and Diana & Llwyd Ecclestone served as Honorary Chairs of the event.

The Gala drew out many notables from Palm Beach – and beyond – including Louis Aguirre, Juan Bollini, Allison & Chip Brady, Lynda & Bill Foster, Florence D’Urso, Dottie & Bill Fauerbach, Mary & Mark Freitas, Marc & Melissa Ganzi, Arij Gasiunasen, George Hamilton, Michelle & Howard Kessler, Christina & George Lindemann, Jose Olle, Tatiana & Campion Platt, Lois Pope, Alina & Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Donald Soffer, Nic Roldan, Susan & Dom Telesco, Becca Cason & John Thrash, Thomas C. Quick, and Richard Ziegelasch.

The Gala included a pool-side cocktail hour featuring GREY GOOSE libations, a gourmet dinner, and a lively auction, which featured fabulous items such as an incredible cultured pearl necklace, Kentucky Derby box seats, tickets to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, six luxury box seats to any New York Yankees home game, and a private polo lesson with Nic Roldan.

Additional highlights of the evening included an inspiring speech by Buddy Ambassador Rachel Lipke, a special presentation, during which Montblanc announced a $100,000 donation to Best Buddies as part of its “11 Days of Giving” campaign, and a performance by Michael McDonald.

Gala sponsors included Audi, Mark Edward Partners, A.R.T. Fine Jewelry & Art, Chartis, the Quick Family, Michele & Howard Kessler, Arij Gasiunasen, Niche Media, Patrick Park, Tatiana & Campion Platt, FIJI Water, GREY GOOSE, Montblanc, the Frankino Foundation, Mr. & Mrs. K. Alexis Mersentes II, and Mr. & Mrs. Thorn Rosenthal.

The festivities continued on Saturday, March 19, when the Audi US Polo Team, which is currently ranked 4th in the World Polo Tour standing, hosted the Audi Best Buddies Polo Experience at its home-base, the Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington.

During this event, Best Buddies participants were introduced to mallet and horse techniques by some of the world’s greatest polo players, including Gonzalito Pieres, Nico Pieres, Rodrigo Andrade, Nachi Heguy, Lolo Castagnola, and Juan Bollini, and Audi US Polo Team patrons Marc & Melissa Ganzi.  Best Buddies Founder and Chairman Anthony Kennedy Shriver and other notables, including “Deco Drive” Anchor Louis Aguirre, also saddled-up to create a unique experience for the Buddies and raise awareness for the organization. Afterwards, each of the participants received a trophy and plaque to commemorate the occasion.

Photos of the Gala are available at: or

Photos of the Polo Experience are available at:

For additional information, please contact: Heather Schatz
(305-374-2233, ext.207 or .

About Best Buddies International:

Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to almost 1,500 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies’ seven formal programs – Colleges, High Schools, Middle Schools, Citizens, e-Buddies® , Jobs and Ambassadors – engage

participants in each of the 50 states and in 50 countries, positively impacting the lives of nearly 700,000 people with and without disabilities around the world. As a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and

developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit


About Audi:

Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. During 2010 Audi was the top performing luxury brand in Europe, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Over the next few years, AUDI AG will invest nearly $16 billion on new products and technologies. Visit or for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.


Joyce Brooks

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