Participants at the 2018 Friendship Circle of Cleveland’s My Walk 4 Friends finish up their 2-mile walk. 

Friendship Circle of Cleveland will host its My Walk 4 Friends benefit walk – now in its 10th year – beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 1 at Friendship Circle of Cleveland.

The annual walk, proceeds of which benefits programming at Friendship Circle, will begin and end at Friendship Circle’s offices in Pepper Pike. Following the walk, there will be kosher food, entertainment and activities.

This year, well over 1,000 people are expected to attend, according to Rabbi Yossi Marozov, executive director of Friendship Circle of Cleveland, who also said the theme for this year’s walk is a play on the organization’s current focus: strategic planning for Friendship Circle and the steps the community needs to ensure a “friendshipful” future for all special needs children in Cleveland.

“We’re getting very good vibes from the community about participation and embracing this meaningful cause,” Marozov said. “Every child deserves a friend. Friendship is key to a quality of life. Friendship Circle also educates a generation of teenagers to be sensitive, to be inclusive and to recognize the value in each soul. Moreover, by simply being present at the walk, you’re sending a message to the families of the special children that there’s a community that cares. And that in itself, being present in of itself, is a mitzvah.”

Last year’s walk drew about 1,300 attendees and raised nearly $932,000 of the organization’s $1 million campaign goal for 2018.

The event is free to attend, though donations are appreciated. Registration for the walk is a $30 donation before noon on Aug. 27 and includes a free T-shirt; after that deadline, registration is $35 with a T-shirt. There is no charge for the food or entertainment after the walk.

The Cleveland Jewish News is the media sponsor of the event.

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