Katie Meade of Des Moines first met Tom Brady in 2003 during a fundraising event for the Best Buddies program. Meade, who has Down syndrome, was paired up with Brady during a challenge and the two became quick friends.


It's time to get your appetites ready for a good cause.

Best Buddies in Iowa will partner with chefs from 12 local restaurants for the 15th annual “Chef Challenge." 

The tasting competition takes place Oct. 3 at the Ron Pearson Center at 5820 Westown Parkway in West Des Moines from 5:30-9 p.m. and will feature hearty appetizers and desserts served by competing chefs and Best Buddies Iowa buddy pairs.

The evening will feature a live and silent auction and a program with the always entertaining emcee Steve Berry. 

Competing restaurants

Guests are encouraged to sample the culinary stylings of each chef and vote on a favorite sweet or savory dish from:

More than 600 friends, business leaders, volunteers and participants are expected to attend this event supporting this life-changing organization for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) through friendship, jobs, leadership and inclusive living programs.

“Our partnership with Best Buddies Iowa has had such a tremendous impact on our organization and employees," said Mary Buscher of Sammons Financial Group, presenter of the event. "While the meaningful relationships and experiences our employees have with their buddies is incredible, we have seen such a positive impact on our entire organization and corporate climate as well.”

Best Buddies matches volunteers from elementary schools, middle schools, colleges and businesses such as Sammons Financial Group in one-to-one mutually beneficial relationships with an individual with an IDD for a year-long friendship.

In November, the organization will be launching its newest program by offering integrated supported employment for individuals with disabilities.

For more info or to purchase tickets, visit

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