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Black Tie International:
Best Buddies Ambassadors Fund


Ambassadors Fund


This Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy, my Uncle Jack. I know the media will concentrate on the tragedy, the potential of the Kennedy presidency, and what might have been. But, I plan to use the deep emotions of this day to do something positive and uplifting.


President Kennedy

Inauguration Day: January 20,1961

President Kennedy signed the first major U.S. legislation to help people with intellectual disabilities. It was part of a “bold new approach” – at a time when individuals with IDD were routinely institutionalized and locked away.

Inspired by the challenges in the life of his sister Rosemary, President Kennedy became a pioneering advocate for people with disabilities. He was the first president to welcome a person with intellectual and developmental disability in to the White House. Fueled by the passion of my mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, he established a President's Panel on Mental Retardation. Within the National Institute of Health, he created what would become the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute of Child Health and Human Development. And he supported my mother’s creation of Special Olympics. In the years following the Kennedy administration, Congress passed 116 acts or amendments providing support for people with intellectual disabilities and their families.


Eric and Daniel Speaking at the Best Buddies challenge

Best Buddies Ambassadors: Eric and Daniel

So we can bow our heads about what might have been or choose to be inspired to action by what we can do now to recognize and honor his enduring legacy. Today, please support Best Buddies as we continue to change the world for people with intellectual disabilities by:

• Contributing to our Ambassadors Fund to honor President Kennedy and support our program teaching our Buddies about leadership, public speaking and the opportunity to be self advocates;

• Volunteering to join a Best Buddies chapter in your school or community through the Best Buddies Friendship program;

• Joining a Best Buddies Advisory Board or signing up to participate in one of our Ride/Run/Walk events;

• Hiring a Buddy to work at your job site. 

To make a donation in Uncle Jack’s memory visit or to become involved in one of our programs, please contact

There is no question that my Uncle Jack’s legacy lives on in the work we do with Best Buddies.  I hope you will take a moment to remember and honor the hope, the optimism, and the courage of his presidency with a donation in his honor to Best Buddies today.

All the best,


Anthony K. Shriver


The mission of Best Buddies is 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.

Copyright © 2013 BEST

The mission of Best Buddies is 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.

Copyright © 2013 BEST


joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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