Best Buddies Hawai‘i is part of Best Buddies International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement to create opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, son of Special Olympics Founders Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies International is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,500 college, high school and middle school campuses across the country and internationally.
Proceeds from this year’s Life Is Sweet Celebration will help support Best Buddies Hawai‘i programs at several Maui County high school and middle schools, including Lokelani Intermediate School, Kalama Intermediate School, Baldwin High School, King Kekaulike High School, Maui High School and Seabury Hall.
(Left to right) Maui Chef Bev Gannon, Best Buddy Emilio Mark (a junior from Maui High School) and Joe Gannon will represent Gannon’s Joe’s Bar & Grill in Wailea at the Life Is Sweet Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 18, from 3 to 6 p.m. at The Shops at Wailea.
Nearly a dozen chefs from some of Wailea’s finest restaurants, such as Capische, The Four Seasons, Gannon’s Joe’s Bar & Grill, Wailea Marriott Resort & Spa, Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, will cook up an assortment of delectable desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth—and compete for a grand prize—alongside a “buddy pair” from one of Best Buddies Hawai‘i’s participating schools.
Attendees of the Life Is Sweet Celebration are invited to sample the tasty treats offered throughout the evening, and vote for their favorite entry, while a panel of celebrity judges, including Maureen McCormick and Barry Williams (who played elder siblings Marcia and Greg Brady on The Brady Bunch), and other surprise guests, will crown the winners of the 2010 Wailea Signature Dessert Award.
The Life Is Sweet Celebration will also feature live music and entertainment; a silent auction with items donated from many of Wailea’s most venerable shops, restaurants and resorts; an exclusive VIP “before and after” party; a wine tasting event; prize giveaways; and much, much more.
A paid-entry venue will be set up in the center court of The Shops at Wailea for event attendees, who will have an exclusive opportunity to sample dessert entries, meet the panel of celebrity judges and enjoy wine, champagne and other complimentary beverages.
Best Buddies Hawai‘i State Director Michael McCormick said he hopes this inaugural event will be a sweet success. “Best Buddies is making a tremendous difference here in Hawai‘i… we continue to receive thanks from parents, family members and teachers who have seen children’s lives change for the better.”