Tag Archives: 2017 Friendship Circle Walk

Pearlman Family

Power Walkers: The Pearlman family – Team Dani P.

They walk for love. They walk for hope. They walk for friendship.

They are Friendship Circle’s Power Walkers.

While scores of generous supporters come together for the annual Walk4Friendship, there are some
families that walk year after year – people who go the extra mile to support an organization that has
changed countless lives through its innovative programs.

These Power Walkers aren’t celebrities or superstars. They are ordinary people who are doing
extraordinary work to help an organization near and dear to their hearts.

Here are their stories:

Power Walkers: The Pearlman family – Team Dani P.

For the Pearlman family of Huntington Woods, the support of Friendship Circle has been nothing short of magical.

And it’s that magic that moves them – and those they love and lean on – to participate in the Walk4Friendship year after year.

In fact, the Pearlman family hasn’t missed a one, says Debbie Pearlman, a member of the Friendship Circle Board of Directors.

After their daughter Dani was diagnosed with autism at age 3, Debbie and her husband, Joel, turned to Friendship Circle for strength and support.

Now 17, Dani participated in the Friendship Circle program before it even had a home of its own, Debbie says. “We found them to be an incredible source of support and friendship, not just for Dani, but for our whole family.”

Dani has taken part in many Friendship Circle programs over the years, but one moment stands out as the most meaningful, her mom says.

A Friendship Circle family trip to Mackinac Island had been planned around the time of Dani’s bat mitzvah. When the Pearlmans decided to go, the Friendship Circle arranged for a special ceremony to take place during the trip with Rabbi Yarden Blumstein officiating.

“It was the moment we realized the true magic of Friendship Circle,” Debbie says.

And so the Pearlmans – who are also parents to daughter Alex, 14, and son Charlie, 9 – move heaven and earth to give back in any way they can.

“Whatever Bassie asks me to do, I am front and center,” she says, gratefully.

With the support of friends and family who know “just how much Friendship Circle means to us,” Debbie says, they raised roughly $25,000 for last year’s walk and are on track to do it again.

Written by Holly Terpstra

Lubin Family

Power Walkers: The Lubin family – MJS Packaging

They walk for love. They walk for hope. They walk for friendship.

They are Friendship Circle’s Power Walkers.

While scores of generous supporters come together for the annual Walk4Friendship, there are some families that walk year after year and go the extra mile to support our organization.

These Power Walkers aren’t celebrities or superstars. They are ordinary people who are doing extraordinary work to help an organization near and dear to their hearts.

Here are their stories:

The Lubin family – MJS Packaging

For David Lubin of Farmington Hills, it is the passion and purpose of Friendship Circle for which he walks. His inspiration lies not just in the needs of one – but rather in the needs of all who are helped by the organization’s programs and services.

“I do not have any family members with special needs,” says David, president of MJS Packaging, a Livonia-based product packaging company with offices across the United States. But, he says, he appreciates the special role Friendship Circle plays in the community.

“I love the work they do,” says David, who added that he couldn’t help but get engaged – and encourage others to do the same.
And that has been the case from the very beginning.

David and his wife, Stephane, first became acquainted with Friendship Circle through David’s step-brother Andy Jacobs, an ardent early supporter of the group and currently a member of its board’s executive committee.

“It’s a cause I am devoted to,” says David, who is also on the Friendship Circle board.

David and his wife have participated in the Walk4Friendship since its inception, and they will walk again this year, too.
But they don’t walk alone.

As has been the case for many years, Team MJS Packaging will include many of David’s coworkers. And those who don’t walk, he says, contribute to the cause. With offices around the country, those contributions add up quickly, he says. Last year, David’s team raised roughly $20,000.

And he couldn’t be more determined to do it again.

“What keeps me walking and wanting to support Friendship Circle is that I see them making a difference in the lives of people with special needs as well as in the lives of their many volunteers,” he says. “Friendship Circle continues to search for ways to expand its programming in order to broaden and maximize the support for those with special needs.”

Written by Holly Terpstra

Menucks

Power Walkers: The Menuck family – The bELIevers

They walk for love. They walk for hope. They walk for friendship.

They are Friendship Circle’s Power Walkers.

While scores of generous supporters come together for the annual Walk4Friendship, there are some families that walk year after year and go the extra mile to support our organization.

These Power Walkers aren’t celebrities or superstars. They are ordinary people who are doing extraordinary work to help an organization near and dear to their hearts.

Here are their stories:

The Menuck family – The bELIevers

When Lisa Menuck first began participating in the Walk4Friendship many years ago, she knew her efforts made a difference. What she didn’t know then was just how much those efforts would hit home someday.

Lisa and her husband, Mark, first participated many years ago after Lisa was introduced to Bassie Shemtov through her sister-in-law Jill Menuck, who knew Bassie when the Shemtovs were running Friendship Circle out of their basement.

But it wasn’t until after their youngest son, Eli, came along that the walk truly became a family affair, Lisa says.

At just 3 months old, Eli underwent heart surgery. As he grew, developmental delays became apparent and the now-9-year-old boy was diagnosed with autism.

“The Friendship Circle staff sees past the disabilities of all the children and are focused on what they can do and who they are on the inside,” says Lisa, who is also mom to Harrison, 18, and Jessica, 17. “Eli has made friends, attends Hebrew school, is on sports teams and goes to summer camp — things that may otherwise not be offered to him.”

How does one give back to an organization that has given so much to people you love? You walk and walk and walk some more, which is exactly what the Menuck family of Birmingham has done.

Each year since 2013, the family has marched as a team, first as the Menuck Marchers and later as the bELIevers. This will be the fourth year the team will bear that name.

While some faces on the team have changed over the years, there are those who have been there every step of the way, says Lisa. Her brother-in-law’s family, also of Birmingham, has been among their biggest supporters. They include Mark’s twin brother, Craig Menuck, and his wife, Jill, and their three children: Jamie, 19, Miles, 18, and Casie, 14.

And while this year the team dynamic will be a little different with the older Menuck children from both families heading off to college, the family’s resolve to give back remains as strong as ever.

“Friendship Circle has been life changing for my family,” Lisa says. “We have gained so much love and support and met so many incredible people. Having a child with special needs … can be especially lonely and difficult emotionally. The support of an amazing organization behind us makes us feel we are not alone.”

Written by Holly Terpstra

Walk for Friendship

5 things to know about the 2017 Walk4Friendship

The 11th annual Walk4Friendship is set for Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. Here are 5 things you need to know about this year’s can’t-miss Friendship Circle fundraiser:

1. THERE’S A NEW ROUTE
This year’s route is roughly 1.4 miles and will start at the West Bloomfield Township hall, 4550 Walnut Lake Road, and end at Friendship Circle’s Farber Center, 5586 Drake Road.

Registration and T-shirt pickup will begin at 10 a.m., and the opening ceremony will start at 11:30 a.m. The walk will kick off at 11:45. The festivities at the finish line will run from noon-3 p.m.

2. PLENTY OF PARKING
All parking will be at Temple Israel, 5725 Walnut Lake Road, West Bloomfield. We strongly suggest you arrive at the Temple Israel parking lot by 10:30 a.m. to ensure you don’t miss the opening ceremony.

Wheelchair accessible parking: Wheelchair accessible parking will be in a designated area of the Temple Israel parking lot. Please let the parking attendant know that you need wheelchair accessible parking when you arrive. Wheelchair accessible shuttles will transport you to the opening ceremony and back to your car once the walk is over. Shuttles will leave every 30 minutes, at the top and bottom of every hour.

3. CONVENIENT SHUTTLES WILL BE AVAILABLE
To the opening ceremony: Shuttles will transport participants from Temple Israel to the township hall starting at 10 a.m. and will run regularly until the walk starts (approximately 11:45 a.m.).

To the Farber Center: Fifteen minutes after the walk begins, supporters who prefer not to walk can take a shuttle directly to the Farber Center, where they can cheer on family and friends!

NOTE: All those who do not require wheelchair accessible accommodations will need to walk back to the Temple Israel lot when the event concludes. There will be no shuttles for walkers. It’s a five-minute walk from the Farber Center.

4. THERE’LL BE UNFORGETTABLE ENTERTAINMENT
The Walk4Friendship promises plenty of fun for the entire family. Entertainment offerings include:

  • The SkyRiders! Trampoline Show featuring death-defying stunts by Guinness Book of World Records holder and three-time national trampoline champion Ken Kovach and his team.
  • The Real McCoy Show, an interactive, all-ages variety performance by Brent McCoy. The show combines Brent’s best circus stunts, lightning-quick wit and lots of audience involvement for a rollicking comic experience.
  • A 28-foot-high zipline that’s sure to give you the ride of your life!
  • A Segway obstacle course to test your skills.
  • The Fuse 45 Ski & Rowing Challenge, where the participant with the best record wins a prize.
  • Bounce houses and an inflatable sports arena featuring the most popular games.
  • Mini NASCAR and monster truck racing courses.
  • A craft workshop sponsored by Home Depot.

5. COME HUNGRY!
There will be festival flavors galore, including:

  • Fresh popcorn, snow cones and cotton candy from the famous Detroit Popcorn Co.
  • Hot dogs with choice of toppings, coleslaw, vegetarian chili and watermelon from Epic Kosher.

Don’t miss out! Register today!