On June 13th, over one hundred friends, families and supporters including Mayor of Wayne Township, Christopher P. Vergano joined for the Friendship Circle of Passaic County’s 6th Annual Evening of Volunteer Recognition.
“Best Friends is the title of the drawing on my son Harrison’s bedroom door. It features three stick figures standing hand in hand. You can tell that the middle figure is a boy, and that the two figures on the outside are the girls . Below each figure is a name – Tara, Harrison, and Meryl.”
If anything describes the relationship developed between Friendship Circle volunteers and the children with special needs who’s lives they transform, the above description by Mrs. Judy Kessler of the Friendship Circle of Passaic County certainly does.
On June 13th, over one hundred friends, families and supporters including Mayor of Wayne Township, Christopher P. Vergano joined for the Friendship Circle of Passaic County’s 6th Annual Evening of Volunteer Recognition. The Evening culminated an amazing year of love. friendship and enriching the lives of children with special needs. Parents expressed their gratitude, the children detailed their exciting adventures with their volunteers, and the volunteers reflected on the year with pride and fulfillment. A letter from Congressman Bill Pascrell congratulated the teens and Captain Frank Garcia from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office presented them with Certificates of Recognition.
Nine volunteer were recipients of special awards in addition to the certificates:
Malia Budd (Wayne, NJ), Carly Ginsberg (Wayne, NJ) Sara Demby (Clifton, NJ) and Alyssa Needle (Passaic, NJ) received the President’s Service Award in recognition of their dedication as Volunteer Presidents of 2011.
Alex Green, (Wayne, NJ), Alex Belgard (Wayne, NJ), Amanda Griglack (Wayne, NJ) Ariel Altaras (Clifton, NJ) and Elana Demby (Clifton, NJ) received the Friendship Awards 2011 in recognition of their outstanding job as volunteers participating in Friends @ Home, Winter Camp, Holiday Events, Cooking Clubs and Sports Programs.
Addressing the attendees during the Evening of Recognition were Ms. Sariba Feinstein, the Friendship Circle’s outgoing director of two years, Rabbi Michel Gurkov, Rabbi of The Chabad Center of Passaic County, Mrs. Judy Kessler (Hawthorne, NJ) Parent representative of the Evening, Ms. Sarah Taback (Wayne, NJ), Volunteer Representative of the Evening and little Trey Casey (6 years old from Wayne, NJ), a participant in the Friendship Circle who thanked his volunteers for the fun they have during Friends @ Home.
“Guess what?” Trey ended off, after describing their Thursday afternoon adventures, “I had some good times with you guys. And I want you to be my guys next year. Not somebody else!”
Rabbi Levi Sanowicz, Executive Director of the Friendship Circle, excitedly described the Friendship Circle’s upcoming Unity Walk for Friends on September 18th (http://www.unitywalkforfriends.com) and encouraged the volunteers, parents and supporters to get involved in what is sure to be a smashing 1st Annual Walk for the Friendship Circle!
The Evening featured NABA Light Welterweight Champion Dimitriy Salita, who fascinated the crowd with the story of a young, Ukrainian immigrant who took to the boxing ring to create a life for himself in this new country and now prides himself with numerous titles, a wife and daughter, and most importantly, a strong Jewish identity. Citing the difficulties arising throughout his personal and career life, Dimitriy encouraged the volunteers to persist in making the difference in this world each of them are destined to make.
To contact the Friendship Circle, visit www.fcpassaiccounty.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org