More than 950 Montrealers of all ages gathered for a 3.3 kilometre trek around Hampstead Park to raise awareness and funds for the Friendship Circle.
More than 950 Montrealers of all ages gathered on Sunday, October 28th for a 3.3 kilometre trek around Hampstead Park to raise awareness and promote acceptance for children with autism and to raise funds for programming at the Friendship Circle.
“We were celebrating youth engagement and our commitment to support children with special needs and their families,” explained Abie Sterner, Vice President of The Friendship Circle. “One of the strengths of the The Friendship Circle is that it is volunteer-led and involves over 1000 teenagers from across the City.”
“Combined participants took 4,326,300 individual steps, while raising more than $467, 000 for our organization. We are particularly grateful to Groupe Yellow Inc, our lead sponsor for the fourth consecutive year and their generous donation-matching commitment,” added Nochum Segal Q.C., President.
“At every other program, Ariel is on the receiving end. At The Friendship Circle, they made him a volunteer. It makes him feel good to know that he is a contributing member of society, helping others” said Mrs Rissa Mechaly, parent of Friendship Circle family member.
The Walk was followed by a carnival with fun and entertainment aimed at all age groups. Featured this year was the group Acro Yoga, which combines aesthetics from various dance forms including B-boying, modern jazz-ballet, improvisation, and mask-work.
The Friendship Circle believes that all people deserve friendship. It has developed a number of volunteer-led programs for children with special needs, ranging from cooking classes and art and crafts, to hockey tournaments and basketball games. A key initiative is the weekly visits of pairs of teenage volunteers to the homes of children with special needs, giving parents respite while the child enjoys home-made fun with his/her teen friends.