Saturday, November 16, 2013

NBC -Washington presents "Audi Best Buddies Challenge"

On Saturday, November 16, 2013, at 10:30 AM EST, NBC Washington (that is Channel 4, or NBC4, in the Washington DC area) aired a 30-minute account of an Oct. 19, 2013 bicycle race fundraiser called the “Audi Best Buddies Challenge”, with the report of the story here.  The link for the organization is here.
The charity raises money for a buddy program which encourages adults to become buddies of people with certain learning disabilities, including Downs and Williams Syndromes, Fragile X Syndrome, and Autism Spectrum. 

Doreer Genzler hosted.  Actor Kevin Spacey appeared, and made the odd comment that those of us who have “done well in our own lives should send the elevator back down” and also said “how easy it is to box people in.” 

One of the founders of the program is Anthony Kennedy Shriver.  I’m not sure of the exact family relationship with Maria Shriver, who produced an HBO series on Alzheimer’s in 2009 (see this blog, May 10, 2009). 

The report and show may well speak for themselves.  So does the following video from the organization.

When I worked as a substitute teacher, I “unintentionally” wound up in special education a few times, and a very few of the assignments were for the severely disabled.  But it would not have been easy to “befriend” anyone in some of these classes;  they were usually very uncommunicative or sometimes made inappropriate moves.  On the other hand, consider the fact that to make the movie “Girlfriend” director Justin Lerner worked with an actor with Down’s Syndrome (July 16, 2012). 

This challenge will not be for everyone. 

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