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

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