WITH THE POP of a confetti tube and a blast of music, 2,000 people began their walk on Oct. 28 to show their support for children with special needs at the annual FCwalk.
“I think it’s really nice that so many people came out to show they care about Friendship Circle and the kids,” said Shiri Kaplitt, 11, who attended the FCwalk with her family.
The annual FCwalk, which raised nearly $200,000 for programming for children with special needs, began with a tribute to the victims of the Oct. 27 synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.
“Our hearts are shattered by the horrific attack,” said Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum, CEO of Friendship Circle. “We mourn the 11 holy souls so cruelly taken from our midst. We pray for their families, for those injured, and the entire Pittsburgh community.”
Avi Shua, whose son, Eitan, attends FC programs, also addressed the crowd. He explained how important FC is to his whole family; it gives Eitan a place where he belongs and “it gives our entire family a place to volunteer.”
The FCwalk included a family fun fair and a tour of the nearly complete LifeTown, a 53,000-square-foot, fully accessible social, recreational, and therapeutic center that will house Friendship Circle programs and other programming for children, teens, and young adults with special needs.
“We are always amazed by the generosity of spirit and friendship that is shown by the participants of the annual walk,” said Grossbaum. “This year, though, was extra special because everyone could walk through the nearly completed LifeTown and see the vision come to life.”