Metro Detroiters to Unite for People With Special Needs at Friendship Circle’s Walk4Friendship
By: Nikki Little
WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich., Aug. 24, 2010 — Friendship Circle, a not-for-profit organization that creates friendship in the lives of children and adults with special needs, will host its annual Walk4Friendship on Sunday, Sept. 5, 2010 from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Walk4Friendship is Friendship Circle’s 5th annual fundraiser. An estimated 7,000 metro Detroiters will gather in W. Bloomfield for a 5k walk in honor of individuals with special needs. There is no cost for registration, participation or food. All participants will receive a Walk4Friendship 2010 T-shirt. The Walk4Friendship donation goal this year is $500,000.
Following the 5k walk, Friendship Circle will host a complimentary carnival for all participants at the Applebaum Jewish Community Campus, located at 6600 W. Maple Rd. in W. Bloomfield. The featured entertainment will be the Chicago Boyz Acrobatic team, which is a professional gymnastics troupe. There will also be a sports challenge, where walk participants will get to test their athletic skills against professional athletes and local celebrities. All sports challenge participants will have the opportunity to win prizes and autographed sports memorabilia.
To raise awareness and generate excitement about the walk, Friendship Circle arranged a flash mob freeze at The Somerset Collection on August 18. An estimated 950 people participated, which Friendship Circle believes sets the record for the largest flash mob freeze in the United States. Following is a short video from the event:
In 2009, more than 5,000 participants and 48 corporate sponsors raised $440,000 for Friendship Circle through the Walk4Friendship. 100 percent of funds raised through the walk directly support the programs and services that Friendship Circle provides.
The walk is open to the public. Those interested can register and/or donate online at www.Walk4Friendship.com.
For additional information on Walk4Friendship, please contact Lifetown Director Bassie Shemtov at 248.788.7878 ext. 212 or Bassie@FriendshipCircle.org.
About Friendship Circle
Friendship Circle is a not-for-profit organization that creates friendship in the lives of children and adults with special needs. The organization’s unique method pairs individuals who have special needs with local teen volunteers. Through these friendships, the teens grow into socially responsible citizens, and the children and adults gain confidence through community inclusion. Friendship Circle’s facility, Ferber Kaufman LifeTown, gives individuals with special needs the chance to learn critical life skills in a realistic setting, thus improving their social, physical and cognitive skills.
In addition to helping individuals with special needs and their families, Friendship Circle touches people struggling with addiction, isolation and related crises. At the Daniel B. Sobel Friendship House, participants receive guidance in the form of recovery programs, referrals and supporting networks.
This year alone, Friendship Circle has extended its services to 3,000 families with special needs and 169 local schools from 50 school districts. Its Morrie & Sybil Fenkell Volunteer Club has grown to more than 900 community members. For additional information on Friendship Circle, please visit www.FriendshipCircle.org.