Tag Archives: Fundraiser

Giving Tuesday 4Friendship Fundraiser

#GivingTuesday #4Friendship!

If you had walked into Friendship Circle on Giving Tuesday morning you would have heard the voices of several volunteers and staff members on the phone with community members to ask for donations in honor of the day. Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday) is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and this year Friendship Circle held our first end of year fundraiser 4Friendship! #GivingTuesday #4Friendship!

Starting on Tuesday, November 29th (Giving Tuesday), we hosted a 36 hour fundraising phonathon and social media campaign with the goal to fundraise $360K in just 36 hours.

Bassie Shemtov launched our social media campaign with this message:

Thanks to 3 special donors, we were able to make this year’s fundraiser, a matching campaign. The generosity of these donors meant that each dollar donated during the 36 hour period of this campaign, was worth four times the amount given. So for every $1 that came in, we actually earned $4 for our organization.

Meet the Matchers:

We would like to introduce you to the matchers behind this campaign. Without their support, this campaign would not have been possible.


In blessed memory of Joseph Fetter

Joseph Fetter’s recent passing is the reason that Neil Fetter, one of his sons, has agreed to match the donations we received in our #4Friendship campaign. Friendship Circle is honored and thankful that the Fetter family honored Joseph’s memory by contributing to this campaign and our organization in his name! Thank you for continuing to be philanthropic pillars in our community.

Fetter Family Foundation:

The Fetter family has been a pillar in the Detroit Jewish community for many decades. Joseph and Frances Fetter supported many organizations both in the Detroit Metro area and in Israel, often asking for anonymity and contributing in a quiet way. Friendship Circle was honored to be one of the charities to have a special place in Joseph Fetter’s heart.

Philip & Estelle Elkus:

Philip and Estelle Elkus have been generous supporters of Friendship Circle for many years and donated the funds for the Elkus Gym in memory of Philip’s siblings that had special needs.

“Of all the charities I have ever supported, my wife and I get far more pleasure and “Nachas” from the gym than any other institution. It has made such a wonderful difference to so many and we derive such pleasure seeing it happen.” – Philip Elkus

The 1st Day

Our $360K goal seemed lofty when we got started, but we hit the phones in the volunteer lounge with the help of several volunteers and staff members. We also pushed social media posts across several social channels and asked people in our online community to donate and then share with their followers.

By 4:30pm on Tuesday afternoon, we had reached 50% of our goal and things were looking good for us to reach it within our allotted time. Then at 9:30pm, about 12 hours into our campaign, thanks to an outpouring of support from people across the country, we reached our initial fundraising goal of raising $360,000! We were delighted by our the support of our online community, the phonathon volunteers and the generosity of the donations that came in!


Bonus Round

By Wednesday morning, we were over our initial financial goal and the money was still coming in. Inspired by the tremendous support of the Friendship Circle community and by the more than 450 donors who had made a donation, Neil Fetter, Dan and Michelle Weiss and a few other generous sponsors agreed to match all donations 3-to-1 in a bonus round. The bonus round pushed our goal up to $425,000 before the end of the campaign. With just 9 hours to go in the campaign we launched the bonus round and all donations that came in at that point were being tripled by the bonus round sponsors.


By the end of the 36 hour time period, we had brought in $432,000!

Many Thanks!

To those of you that made a contribution to our goal, we are so very grateful for your generosity and hope that you take great pride in the important difference your gift makes to our organization and those we help support.

We are so awed by the continued assistance and generosity of our community of supporters, donors and volunteers. Friendship Circle could not help individuals with special needs without the active involvement of the people around us.

We thank you for your support in this and all of our campaigns and wish you and your family all of the best!


What Will The Money Be Used for?

1. After School Programs
Funds raised will go towards growing the capacity and quality of our after-school programming which currently has over 300 children and teens with special needs participating.

2. Soul Projects
Soul Projects currently has 50 artists and 15 Cafe trainees working at Friendship Circle’s Farber Center. 4Friendship funds will help us expand the amount of artists working in the Dresner Foundation Soul Center.

3. Summer Camp
Summer camp has expanded from a one week camp to a six week summer program for over 50 individuals with special needs. Funds will help us add more exciting activities and summer programming in 2017.

4. Lessons For Life
Lessons For Life is in the process of refreshing its program and curriculum offerings. 4Friendship funding will help facilitate these enhancements.

Our Top 10 Highlights of 2015

#1 You

The number one highlight of 2015 was you! We would like to say thank you for being in our circle of friendship. Your participation is what makes the nine other highlights on this list possible. Whether you participated in programming, volunteered or donated to Friendship Circle we thank you for being our #1 supporter.

If you have not yet donated this year, we ask for your kind support of Friendship Circle’s End of Year Campaign that will help raise crucial funds for Friendship Circle’s wide range of programs. It’s not what you give that is so precious, it’s how much of yourself is invested in the gift and for that, we say thank you!


#2 Farber Soul Center Gets Started

Construction on Farber Soul Center is near completion with several pilot programs underway to help give young adults with special needs an opportunity to show their creative talents and learn much needed skills for the workplace.


#3 1 Million Participants in the Great Bike Giveaway

The Great Bike Giveaway, a campaign that gives adaptive bikes to children with special needs, had over 1 million people participate in a contest that saw 145 children receive a custom, adaptive bike.


#4 Suicide Prevention Initiative Launched

The Daniel B. Sobel Friendship House launches a suicide prevention program that teaches effective intervention skills to teens while helping to build suicide prevention networks in the community. Several lives have already been saved since program launch.


#5 Satellite Branch in Oak Park

With the help of The Jewish Fund five new after school programs are started to cater to families of children with special needs in Oak Park, Huntington Woods and Southfield.


#6 An Amazing Israel Experience

With the support of the William Davidson Foundation, Friendship Circle took 6 families with children that have special needs, volunteers and support staff to Israel. This trip was the first ever accessible family mission to Israel.


#7 Shabbat at the Spa Inspires

The 2nd annual Shabbat at the Spa, a much deserved retreat providing inspiration and respite for 30 moms of children with special needs. The retreat sold out in one day.


#8 New Programs in West Bloomfield

This year we started eight new programs from the Ferber Kaufman LifeTown, our flagship facility in West Bloomfield. New programs included four sports clinics, three new cooking programs, and a drumming program.


#9 Student #20,000!

Friendship Circle welcomed its 20,000th Lessons For Life student to the Weinberg Village. The Lessons For Life program teaches crucial life skills to students from across Metro Detroit.


#10 10 Years of Walk4Friendship!

We celebrated our 10th annual Walk4Friendship bringing together over 5,000 people in an inclusive and fun community event.


Give the Gift of Friendship

Make an end-of-year donation to Friendship Circle and help provide friendship and inclusive opportunities for children, teens and young adults with special needs. Help make the end of 2015 a great one at Friendship Circle.
Thank You!


Golf For Friendship Photo Highlights


On Monday May 13, Friendship Circle hosted its 1st annual Golf for Friendship at Tam O’Shanter Country Club.

Presented by Belfor Property Restoration, Golf For Friendship was a wonderful opportunity for supporters and their friends to come together and support of Friendship Circle.

After their relaxing day on the course, golfers were treated to a delicious cocktail hour and auction. In total, the event raised about $50,000 for Friendship Circle’s yearly programs.

Check out some of the fun and excitement:

A special thank you to all of our amazing sponsors:

  • Belfor
  • Varsity Lincoln
  • Epicurean Kosher Catering
  • Plastic Engineering & Technical Services Inc.
  • Wells Fargo Advisers – Weissman, Eppler, Showich Investment Group
  • Experience Marketing
  • Erwin Penland
  • Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer and Weiss
  • Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions
  • Channel 4
  • Jay A. Fishman Ltd.
  • Johnson Rosati Schultz & Joppich, P.C.
  • Elliot Baum
  • M. Jacobs and Sons
  • American Cycle and Fitness
  • Greis Jewelers
  • Fringe Salon
  • Barons Wholesale Clothiers
  • Art Van
  • Taylor Made
  • Miller Canfield
  • Silver Chalice

Friendship Circle Partners With Whole Foods For “One Dime At A Time” Program


Support Friendship Circle, Save the Environment.

Whole Foods Market has chosen Friendship Circle as the benefiting charity of their “One Dime at a Time” program. This program provides an incentive to customers to eliminate single-use plastic bags and develop stronger communities all at the same time.

Bring your own reusable shopping bag with you to Whole Foods. At the register customers can present their bag and have the option to receive a 10 cent per bag refund as cash back or they can choose to donate it to Friendship Circle.

All three Oakland county locations (West Bloomfield, Troy and Rochester Hills) will be running the “One Dime at a Time” program from April through June so make sure to grab your reusable shopping bags and head out to your neighborhood Whole Foods Market soon!

Orchard Mall goes all in for Friendship

Fox 2 News Headlines

Grab your wallets and your spinning shoes because on Sunday, August 5th Orchard Mall is transforming into the ultimate charity shopping event benefiting Friendship Circle.

Beginning at 11am, the stores within Orchard Mall are joining together to show support for children with special needs by donating a portion of the day’s proceeds to Friendship Circle. The event is not only a fundraiser; it is also a family-friendly celebration complete with blow ups, popcorn, cotton candy, raffles and live music.

Julie Feldman, owner of Guys n’ Gals and chair of the Everything4Friendship event says, “Friendship Circle is an incredible non- profit organizations that I fell in love with when my children became Friendship Circle volunteers. We are hoping to raise a lot of money for Friendship Circle along with offering a good time for everyone.”

Participating stores include Reel Ryder, Yoga Shelter, Guys n’ Gals and 15 other services and retailers.

My House of Style to host a day of shopping to benefit Friendship Circle

My House of Style Charity Shopping

You are invited to join My House of Style in downtown Birmingham for a charity shopping event at their unique, fashion & fine jewelry boutique.

The Details:
  • Date:
    Wednesday, May 2nd
  • Time:
    10:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Location:
    My House of Style, 574 North Old Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, MI 48009
  • Shop and Support Friendship Circle:
    15% of the day’s proceeds will be donated to Friendship Circle.
  • Something Special For You!
    An exclusive limited edition bracelet will be sold with 100% of the profits donated to Friendship Circle.
  • R.S.V.P.
    None needed!

The Bracelet

During the event My House Of Style will be selling a beautiful Friendship Circle themed purple bracelet for $50. 100% of sales from these bracelets will be donated to Friendship Circle.
Check out a picture of the bracelet below. For more beautiful jewelry please visit My House Of Style on Facebook.

My House of Style BraceletUnable to make it to My House Of Style? Order it online! Orders will be available for pickup from Friendship Circle or can be mailed to your home.

Fill out my online form.

Hoops For Friendship In Pictures


On Sunday, March 4th, 38 people gathered inside of the Elkus Gym to compete, head to head, in the very first “Hoops4Friendship” basketball tournament. This 3-on-3 style tournament was organized by Craig Bauer, a founding supporter of Friendship Circle, as a unique way to raise funds and bring new faces inside of the organization.

In only three hours time, over $4,000 was raised for Friendship Circle through entry fees and donations. Each team received colored jerseys for their team to wear and at the end of the tournament, the white team, comprised of Alan Bakst, Danny Singer and Andrew Markowitz, came out on top as the champions.

Friendship Circle extends a huge, “Thank You” to all of the players and donors, and a hearty “Congratulations” to the white Team!

Friendship Circle to Host Hoops4Friendship Charity Tournament

Hoops4FriendshipOn Sunday, March 4th, Friendship Circle will host Hoops for Friendship, a 3-on-3 charity basketball tournament.

Craig Bauer, a founding supporter of Friendship Circle, along with Dave Kam, Norm Markowitz and Brian Homeszyn are organizing the tournament in an effort to bring the community together for a fun game of basketball while giving back to children with special needs.

Craig Bauer commented on the event saying, “What a thrill it is to put together this tournament for the kids.  I hope that everyone will see what an amazing place the Friendship Circle is, while enjoying some competitive basketball and giving  back a little bit to our community.”

Each player will receive a complimentary breakfast, a “Hoops for Friendship” game shirt and refreshments throughout the event. The tournament will take place in the Elkus Gym inside of Friendship Circle’s Ferber Kaufman LifeTown facility on the Meer Family Friendship Center.

Tournament Details:

Participants: Ages 18 years and older.

Registration fee: $100 per player

Time: 7:30 am- 12:30 pm

  • To keep the games as competitive as possible individuals will be divided into teams based on skill level.
  • 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Friendship Circle.
  • Registration is open to the public.
  • Registrations fees and additional donations are tax deductible.
Questions? Email [email protected]

Register Here

Second Annual Friendship Circle Snowman Competition

Friendship Circle Snowman CompetitionOn February 22nd Friendship Circle will be hosting our second annual Snowman Building Competition.

This unique event invites local Detroit businesses to put down their briefcases and pick up their snow shovels in a team-building contest to build the most unique snowman. The nominal entry fee of $500 per company will be donated to the Friendship Circle. To ensure your teammates don’t freeze, we will have a heated tent with snacks and hot refreshments on site.

Friendship Circle will take photos of each finished snow creation the day of the event. We will then publish those images onto our Facebook page and have the public vote on their favorite snow creation over the next three days.

This is an excellent opportunity to raise funds and awareness for Friendship Circle and children with special needs in a fun, competitive environment!

Date: Wednesday, February 22nd
Time: 3:00-5:00pm
Location: Barnum Park in Birmingham

Last Year’s Highlights

There are five spots left! Register your company today!

This Year’s Competitors

Brogan & PartnersBrogan & Partners

General MotorsGeneral Motors

MRM WorldwideMRM Worldwide


Point RollPointRoll


Universal McCannUniversal McCann

Levine & SonsLevine & Sons

Sachse ConstructionSachse Construction

Friedman Real Estate Group Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions