Chabad Center of Kendall/Pinecrest: ‘Evening of Tribute’ honors volunteers

Miami's Community Newspapers

To all of our Friendship Circle volunteers, thank you for your tireless efforts and generous spirit. Thank you for an amazing year and an extraordinary 10 years!

At the Friendship Circle’s annual Evening of Tribute on Tuesday, May 20, we’ll honor our volunteers who are the lifeblood of our program. We’ll also celebrate a very special milestone – the 10-year anniversary of the Friendship Circle. A decade ago, we started with one program and a few volunteers. Today, we have hundreds of volunteers, more than 10 programs, summer and winter break camps and numerous special events.

Our dedicated volunteers – totaling more than 1,000 over 10 years – have made it all possible. They generously share their time and friendship to brighten the lives of children, teens and young adults with special needs. Through programs such as Children’s Circle, Tween Scene, Teen Scene, Sports Circle, Dance/Hip Hop Circle, Guitar Circle and Friends at Home, volunteers involve their special friends in a full range of social, recreational and educational experiences. The Friendship Circle program also extends a helping hand to families and provides meaningful volunteer opportunities for our community’s teenagers.

At the Evening of Tribute, we’ll shine the spotlight on 120 volunteers from 20 different schools who juggle busy schedules that include school, homework, sports and clubs, and still make time to give to others.

Brandon Harris, a senior at Coral Reef Senior High, has been a Friendship Circle volunteer for six years. He started volunteering in the Friends at Home program for a bar mitzvah project, and has continued working in the Teen Scene program because of the profound impact this experience has had on his life. He enjoys his time with other teens who have come to learn that giving to others makes you feel better about yourself and the world.

“The smile on my buddy’s face is so rewarding, there’s nothing like it,” said Brandon. “The way we communicate with each other may be a bit different, but we have developed a special connection. I know what he likes and he knows what I like.”

Although Brandon is going to college in the fall, he plans to stay connected to the Friendship Circle and stop in to see his friends when he comes home to visit. “This experience makes you realize that everyone has something special to offer,” Brandon added. “I want to continue to be a part of this.”

The inspiring Evening of Tribute will open with a dessert reception and the program will include presentations from devoted volunteers, special children, grateful parents and our director Nechama Harlig. We’ll present gifts of appreciation to our volunteers and honor our graduating seniors. Community service awards will be presented to organizations who service children with special needs in the community. As we honor these excellent role models in our community, heartwarming images of joy, friendship and pride will grace the movie screen.

Join us in honoring our Friendship Circle volunteers and celebrating a decade of friendship at the Bet Breira Samu-El Or Olom ballroom, 9400 SW 87 Ave. RSVP by May 9 at 305- 234-5654. For more information, go to <>.

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