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Updates

Heart and Soul Benefit Raises $150,000 for New Community Center

(Miami, FL) --- Friendship Circle held their first-ever Heart and Soul Benefit on November 7 at Miami’s Penthouse at Riverside Warf. The event united nearly 300 community leaders, dignitaries and supporters to celebrate friendship, and raised more than $150,000 for the non-profit's new community center for children with special needs and their families.

The Benefit honored Friendship Circle Board Member, Dr. Trevor Resnick, M.D., for his contributions to the health and well-being of children with disabilities and for always going above and beyond as a healer, scientist and a caring citizen. 

A diverse group of individuals, corporations, and non-profits sponsored the event including Baptist Doctors Hospital, Tracey and Bruce Berkowitz, Mastec and The City of Miami. 

As part of the program, 19 individuals were inducted into the Champions Circle, the non-profit’s coalition of ambassadors comprised of distinguished professionals and community leaders.

Event Chair, Michele Kaplan, spoke passionately about the impact Friendship Circle has had on her family since her son, Matty, was diagnosed with Fragile-X syndrome in 2007. "What lifts my heart and strengthens my soul is that even though some might see Matthew as an outsider, at the Friendship Circle, Matthew has a place where all of him is accepted."

Miami-Dade County Commissioner, Daniella Levine Cava, representing District 8, presented a check in the amount of $20,000 she helped secure to expand the nonprofit's reach and impact. "We have to build for the future, so more children can be served," she told the audience.

Guests were later treated to a special performance by Jacob Velazquez, who has autism. His performance, a stunning rendition of "You Are the Reason" re-affirmed his message that those with autism are "smart, talented, and capable of great things."

 A recap of the video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcg4U-sffbM&t=17s 

Please visit the event's photo gallery here: https://www.friendshipcirclemiami.org/templates/photogallery_cdo/aid/4551838/jewish/2019-Heart-and-Soul-Benefit.htm 

Miami Dade County Citizen's Presentation

Our amazing student advocates made a presentation before the Miami Dade of County Commissioners on October 3, 2019, advocating on behalf of individuals with special needs here and afar. The presentation was sponsored by Commissioners Daniella Levine Cava and Esteban Bovo Jr, both of whom pledged their support for our new campus. We are grateful for the incredible opportunity to present and for the overwhelming support from everyone in attendance. 

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Ellie Bolduc (picture above) spoke about the incredible friendships she has made in Friendship Circle along with her favorite activities she enjoys doing with her friends. 

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