Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, hero of the “miracle on the Hudson” in January 2009, is expected to take part in the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle on Sept. 11 in San Simeon, a spokesperson for Best Buddies has confirmed.
The airline pilot, now retired, and his wife, Lorraine, of Danville will be part of “Team Maria,” led by California First Lady Maria Shriver, wife of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.Sullenberger successfully landed a US Airways jetliner in the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 people aboard after a bird strike knocked out the plane’s engines.
Shriver’s brother Anthony Kennedy Shriver founded Best Buddies International. The group has established a global volunteer movement to creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
This year’s event will be the seventh annual Best Buddies event on the North Coast. Bike riders set out from Carmel, Big Sur and Ragged Point, headed for William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach in San Simeon.
Following the 5-kilometer “Carl Lewis Challenge” led by the Olympic gold medalist on a route leading to San Simeon Point, participants gather at the Hearst Ranch for an evening barbecue and concert.
Nearly 1,500 people took part last year, raising close to $4 million in total donations. To register, participants pledge to raise amounts starting at $1,650.
Participants in previous events have included model Cindy Crawford, actors David Caruso and Rob Lowe. Schwarzenegger rode with Shriver and their four children from Cambria to San Simeon in 2007.