In the true spirit of community, over 1,400 people of all ages gathered under sunny skies for the fifth annual Walk4Friends on May 18th at Vonage Corporate Center in Holmdel, NJ.
The goal of the walk was to raise funds and awareness for the Friendship Circle, a program that provides friendship for children with special needs, but it accomplished much more than its primary mission.
“So many parents came over to us during the event to thank us for dedicating a special day to their children,” said Chanale Wolosow, director of The Friendship Circle in Central NJ. “Imagine over 1,400 people coming to show their support for your child and your family. The parents were beaming with pride, and the children with special needs were the spotlight of the event.”
As Mitch Baum, a parent of a Friendship Circle child living in Marlboro NJ, shared, “The Walkathon was an amazing day. It was touching to see how many people came out in support of the Friendship Circle programs. There were so many things for the kids to do in an environment where they — and their families — can truly relax and enjoy themselves. I am always touched by the volunteers who are part of Friendship Circle — they give their own time to put a smile on face of children who otherwise might not have anyone they could call a ‘friend.'”
Walk4Friends kicked off with an opening ceremony and special presentation by some of our participants. The one-mile walk around the Vonage campus was led by the Marlboro High School marching band. After the walk, participants enjoyed great food, rides, games, and a featured show by “Cirque-tacular acrobats”.
Among the guests were Manalapan Mayor Jordan Moskowitz and Holmdel Mayor Patrick Impreveduto.
“The outpouring of love from the community to support the Friendship Circle was truly amazing” said the Mayor. “So many volunteers give of their time to make this program possible and so many more were responsible for the success of this important event.”
Volunteer Emma Marcus, a student of Marlboro High School who spoke during the opening ceremony shared “Through Friendship Circle, I have learned that the greatest gift one can receive is the gift of giving to others. Sam, my special friend has taught me everything I know about friendship.”
Walk4Friends has raised over $130,000 towards their goal of $150,000 needed for Friendship Circle programming. Monies raised go directly to fund the social and recreational programs for children with special needs. You can still make a donation at www.walk4friends.com and help Walk4Friends reach their goal.
To learn more about the Friendship Circle visit www.friendsnj.com or call 732-536-2319.