New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady kicked-off the 18th Annual Best Buddies Challenge Tuesday in Boston.
Brady, the Best Buddies Global Ambassador, waved to "Team Tom Brady" members at the Boston Seaport Hotel, where he made an announcement with Shaw's Supermarkets President, Paul D. Gossett, regarding a new partnership.
According to their website, Best Buddies is a global non-profit organization that "creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities."
Fans who showed up for the event were excited to see Brady, who is almost done serving his four-game suspension for "Deflategate."
"Obviously you can see I'm decked out in Pats gear," said fan Brendan Donovan. "I'm his age, but he's my little man crush so it will be good to see him back."
Donovan, a special education teacher for Boston Public Schools, is one of the thousands that will participate in the Best Buddies challenge a football game, walk/run and ride next June. The event benefits the non-profit which helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Greg Lewis, whose 8-year-old daughter Meredith has a rare genetic disorder, will also be taking part in the event.
"When we first met him in June he was wonderful to talk to and very gracious speaking with Meredith and to see somebody of his stature provides us with so much wonderful support I look at him for a lot of inspiration," said Lewis.
Fan Kevin O'Malley also brought his son Jeffrey to get a photo with Brady.
"I can't wait to get a chance to look at him, see how he looks see if he's ready for the season," said O'Malley. "I'm sure he's ready to go and we're excited we're huge patriots fans and excited to have him back."
Brady is under a Patriots-free suspension. But fans who got to meet him up close and personal said they can't wait to see him back on the field against the Buffalo Bills.
"Oh I'm really excited," said fan George Austin. "I'm at all of his home games. I'm a season ticket holder I haven't missed a game for five years."