What Best Buddies Has Taught Me

Maddy and I

This last weekend I had the joy of taking my daughter Maddy, family friend Edward Villaume, Tony Sanneh and Christian to the Best Buddies Challenge in Washington D.C.

My goal was to support Best Buddies an organization that I am passionate about and have my daughter Maddy and our friends experience the same joy I get every year when I go to one of these events.  I was not disappointed, this year was really special to me because I learned so much in so many ways about what a true buddy is.

We started off the weekend with an incredible reception at the home of Bill Dean who is the CEO of MC Dean Inc. This kind gentlemen opened up his spectacular home to many of the sponsor’s and special guests. To be honest I was a little nervous to sit, stand and set my water anywhere!  Anthony Kennedy Shriver introduced all of us to the star of the weekend Lauren Potter of Glee and the weekends biggest flirt.
I had so much fun catching up with all of the Shriver men who are all charming, intelligent, good looking and Lot’s of fun to hang around with.  Let’s just say that comes from a long history of fun Shriver-Jacobs get togethers. Anthony was kind enough to award me with what every girl in America would want, a Tiffany Box!
In all seriousness it was a beautiful crystal star that will be given to my sister Sheila who is the real inspiration behind my families passion in helping those with physical and mental disabilities.
The next morning we headed over to the main event at 15th and Constitution where at the crack of sunrise the music and the breakfast were a perfect way to energize all of us participants. Even Carl Lewis who was starting off the 5k was showing off  his “superlicious” dance moves.  Yes I did just make up that word.
Before we were off to the races we were given a beautiful speech by Carolyn Meyer who is the Buddy Ambassador from Nashville, Tennessee.  I was in complete awe of how poetic and honest her speech was about growing up with Cerebral Palsy.  When she finished I couldn’t help myself.. I had to go over and talk to her and her Mother.  It turns out that Carolyn writes and speaks all over the country on behalf of Best Buddies. She was full of excitement and a huge fan of Sugar Ray which we will get to later.
On to the event, our team split up at the starting line. Maddy and Tony decided at the last minute to RUN the 5K leaving Edward and I in the dust for the walk while Christian chose to cycle the 20K.  We all made it to the finish line with a little sweat, a lot of extra endorphins and many new buddy friendships.
Yet, the day was only getting started…We took a shuttle to Morven Park in Leesburg Virginia where the day was filled with hayrides, carriage rides, mansion tours and a Fox Hunt Demo.  Who knew there were no foxes in a fox hunt but hounds one of which left the pack and escaped to the lunch tent.  The Red Jackets were not to happy about this or me trying to give the hound marshmallows from the buffet.
Before the Award ceremony and Dinner we were treated to a meet and greet with Sugar Ray the night’s entertainment. I sat there thinking about Carolyn and wanted her to come with my group because I couldn’t get my mind off her the entire day.  To my complete pleasure, she jumped at the chance and when she walked into the room to meet Sugar Ray a duet of Every Morning was born.
I kind of figured the romance and mutual admiration for each other was over until Sugar Ray opened up his concert with the song dedicated to Carolyn and their encounter.  My heart was smiling the entire night.

We all made it back to the Fairmont Hotel which by the way has the most incredible Crab Cakes I have ever had along with gigantic comfy beds.  It was during that respite that I took the opportunity to reflect on seeing my daughter do her first Best Buddy Tandem ride with her new buddy Zoey and realize that the next generation of Jacobs all have our special and beloved Sheila who continues to teach the whole family about unconditional love, acceptance, kindness, joy and what being a True Buddy really is.

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