For some people, Labor Day Weekend means enjoying a long lazy weekend, last minute traveling with the kids or perhaps getting ready for school.
For the staff at Friendship Circle, Labor Day Weekend meant seeing families, friends and supporters of Friendship Circle coming together and partaking in the biggest event of the year: Walk4Friendship.
This year, close to 6,000 people joined together in order to walk and raise not only crucial funds for next year’s programs at Friendship Circle, but also to raise awareness for children with special needs.
The opening ceremony was Hosted by legendary WXYZ anchor Diana Lewis and WWJ Newsradio 950 legal analyst Charlie Langton who got the crowd ready to walk.
During the Opening Ceremony, U.S. Congressman Gary Peters, blind attorney Richard Bernstein and West Bloomfield Township Supervisor Michelle Econmou Ureste encouraged the crowd and thanked them for their participation.
Teams and individuals were able to choose between two routes that were a varied length: A one mile family walk and a 5K walk. At the sound of the Shofar, which is blown in preparation for the Jewish New Year, walkers began their journey. The sea of purple made their way to the Jewish Community Center of Metro Detroit cheered on by bystanders and people in their vehicles.
Arriving at the Jewish Community Center, walkers were met with a dizzying array of activities, food and entertainment. Friendship Circle’s very first truck pull brought together teams who tried to pull a 35,000 pound semi-truck the fastest.
Champions Forever, recently featured on America’s Got Talent, surprised and amazed the walkers with their talent and skills with basketballs and unicycles–their overall message of everyone being a champion rang out throughout the crowd even after the show was over.
Kids ziplined back and forth, painted their own canvases from Paint and Pour, and had fun with these other carnival attractions: Day at the Derby, Whirly Bird, Wipe Out, Face painting, Train Rides, Detroit Popcorn, Jerusalem Pizza,
and Make-Your-Own Slime.
Matching Grant Announced
At the walk an anonymous donor approached Rabbi Levi and Bassie Shemtov, Directors of the Friendship Circle, and stated he was so moved and inspired by the Walk4Friendship and what it does to help Friendship Circle that he would like to get further involved. Realizing that reaching our goal of $600,000 is vital to sustaining their programs and developing new ones, he has decided to match all donations up to $25,000.