New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady proved he is just as talented off the field as on at a fund-raiser dinner for Best Buddies at the Houston home of Becca Cason Thrash. The champion quarterback teamed up with Best Buddies founder Anthony Shriver for an evening raising $850,000 for the organization.
Thrash is known for well-planned parties, leaving no detail to chance. For the Best Buddies bash, her indoor pool was covered with a turf football field and each table’s centerpiece was a topiary football completing the theme. Brady was the ultimate good sport, posing for pictures in a three-piece suit sans tie per the evening’s dress code. After a boisterous live auction, Brady upped the ante, playing catch with dinner guests for $5,000 a pass.
During a 50-yard-line question-and-answer session, Thrash and Shriver good-naturedly threw questions at Brady, ranging from football to fashion. When asked to give straight men style tips, Brady eschewed specifics and went with a philosophical approach.
“You just have to be yourself. If you like [it], go for it,” Brady said.
When Thrash inquired about Brady’s marriage to model Gisele Bündchen, he was equally diplomatic. “My family is like every other family. It requires communication and she gets two votes and I get one,” Brady said.
Thrash has been involved with Best Buddies for 16 years, helping raise $4 million on behalf of the organization that helps people with intellectual disabilities find employment and social opportunities.
Shriver hopes to launch a Best Buddies employment program in Texas in late 2015 and Houston will be the first city for the expansion. He stressed the importance of volunteering, saying it’s the greatest gift one can give.
“Raise funds, hire someone with special needs, volunteer, educate people not to use the word ‘retarded’ in everyday speech,” Shriver said. “Best Buddies thrive and shine in so many ways.”