Thousands gathered for the 7th annual Friendship Walk to support Friendship Circle in S. Diego, CA, in collaboration with the S. Diego Jewish Federation.
Thousands of people of all ages gathered for the 7th annual Friendship Walk to support Friendship Circle in S. Diego CA, in collaboration with the S. Diego Jewish Federation, on Sunday May 18, 2014
Once again the S. Diego Jewish Federation, together with the Friendship Circle of S. Diego, joined together to support the Friendship Walk, which opened a grand community celebration for Israel, at the Noble Athletic Field in La Jolla CA.
Clowns and animal characters added to the fun of the day and kept everyone happily entertained during registration. Berni Kurtin, a Friendship Circle teen, started the opening ceremony by leading everyone in singing the Star Spangled Banner.
To begin the walk, Michael Sonduck, CEO of the Jewish Federation, and Casey Latz, a teen friend cut the ribbon. Daniela Hirschhorn with her volunteers Nicole Eichner and Dana Glaser all blew starting whistles.
“The event was a wonderful Kiddush Hashem and Kiddush Chabad,” said Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Shliach in Poway, CA, and founder of the S. Diego Friendship Circle. “This was a true milestone in the S. Diego Jewish community to witness the collaboration of the Friendship Circle and the United Jewish Federation.”
Mr. Michael M. Sonduck, the head of the Federation was honored with others for the walk ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Sonduck was so touched by the outpouring of support from the S. Diego Jewish community that he wrote a personal card the very next day thanking the Friendship Circle and Chabad for bringing the Friendship Walk to S. Diego, and wrote that all he can say is how “fantastic” the events were and expressed his gratitude, and expressed the hope that the event would set a precedent among other Jewish Federations.
Congressman Mr. Scott Peters presented the awards to the volunteers and supporters. And expressed his support for the Friendship Circle S Diego and its activities.
The goal of the walk was to raise funding and awareness for the Friendship Circle, a program that provides friendship for children with special needs, We are entering our 10th year for Friendship Circle in S. Diego Says Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein that we are expanding our programs and hiring more fulltime staff to expand even more, with the creation of a sensory room and a special needs swimming pool soon to be developed in S. Diego we will be at the cutting edge of serving all Jewish families with special needs with these exemplary programs. .
“Many parents expressed their gratitude for the day dedicated to their children,” said Mrs. Elisheva Green, director and co-founder of The Friendship Circle. “To watch hundreds of people coming to show their support for your child and your family is truly amazing. 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.”
A grandparent just wrote: “I have known you for about three years now, and would like to commend you on your unselfish efforts that you are giving to your children. Ordinary parents do not realize or understand how much love, work, time, and devotion it takes to care for a special needs child. We have watched how you are doing an excellent job, and we would like to congratulate you. We wish you all the best, and may G-d bless you.”
Special thanks to the volunteers for doing such a fantastic time in rallying all the teen ages and their families to join the walk and for a incredible year in helping so many children and families with special needs and all the programing throughout the year.
Friendship Walk S. Diego has raised over $80,000 towards their goal of $100,000 needed for The Friendship Circle programming.
After the walk, the Jewish Federation hosted a festival with kosher food, bouncies, entertainment and booths with family friendly activities. The 5000 attendees at the festival passed by our heartwarming photos, picked up brochures, and asked questions about the Friendship Circle.
All monies raised goes directly to children with special needs providing them with social and recreational programs. You can still make a donation at www.friendshipwalksd.com To learn more about the Friendship Circle SD visit www.friendshipcirclesd.com or call 858-487-4879.