EVERETT, MASS. (WHDH) - After pumping the brakes for the pandemic, the Best Buddies Challenge returns Saturday with riders pedaling from Boston to Hyannis to raise money for a great cause.

7NEWS is a proud partner of the Best Buddies ride.

They’re raising money for the organization that enhances the lives of people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities – through employment and friendship.

To kick off the big weekend, celebrity chef Guy Fieri hosted a food festival at the Encore Boston Harbor casino on Friday night with the help of some of his buddies.

“It’s not just about raising money,” he said. “It’s about raising awareness.”

Fieri has supported Best Buddies and its mission.

“Boston has been so wonderful. This whole New England community has really embraced the Best Buddies organization,” he said. “It’s a really fun weekend and if you haven’t had a chance to come and do it, it’s now.”

At the kick-off event, dozens of people got the chance to taste the culinary creations whipped up by the buddies and some local chefs.

The big bike ride from Boston to Hyannisport starts on Saturday and the buddies say they are excited.

“I told my mom that I am really excited and I am so blessed,” one participant said.

Anthony Shriver started Best Buddies more than 30 years ago in his college dorm room. Today it’s gone global.

“It’s good stuff…Serving over a million people across the globe, 52 countries, all 50 states, and creating jobs right here in Boston for people with special abilities,” Shriver said.

To make a donation to the 7NEWS team or to learn more about the event, click here.

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