Houston’s annual Friendship Circle Walk was held last Sunday, Nov. 12th, at the famous Houston ZOO.
The Zoo Walk was attended by children and adults of all ages and Jewish affiliations.
Chabad’s Rabbi Dovid Goldstein told the crowd of nearly 600 that their presence demonstrates their indistinguishable love. “We walk together as one to support the special needs community,” he said to great applause.
With Houstonion pride, attendants donned Astros-orange shirts, stating “Friendship Champions.”
There was a kosher boxed lunch provided for all in attendance, as well as face painting, animal-themed craft tables and booths and a bounce house for kids. The event continued with a planned scavenger hunt around the zoo, where participants had their scavenger hunt maps stamped by volunteers waving Friendship Circle flags stationed at various animal exhibits along the route, culminating in a selfie contest with hashtag #friendshiphouston.
Aaron Howard, a parent of a Friendship Circle participant thanked Friendship Circle for “putting on the best Friendship Walk ever. From the setting at the zoo, to the activities, to having lunch before the Scavenger Hunt, all of it was extremely well done. It was a perfect day!”
Among the many were children with special needs and their teen Friendship Circle friends; adults from the Texas state-supported living centers; and representatives, clients, volunteers and supporters from the JFS Alexander Institute for Inclusion, Celebration Company, Kesher, Yachad, Cteen, Houston Special Needs Yahoo Group and Chabad Outreach of Houston.
Special recognition was given to Bruce Stein and family, for their lead support, and to Elisa Goldstein, Rabbi Zally and Esti Lazarus and Melinda Silber, who are the team behind the incredible Friendship Circle of Houston.