Happiness , fun, and community all at FCwalk and CARnival
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Happiness , fun, and community all at FCwalk and CARnival

Clowns on stilts give kids balloons as part of the Friendship Circle “Walk” activities at the organization’s LifeTown facility in Livingston. (Jerry Siskind)
Clowns on stilts give kids balloons as part of the Friendship Circle “Walk” activities at the organization’s LifeTown facility in Livingston. (Jerry Siskind)

Social distance didn’t keep stop the Friendship Circle from raising awareness about people with special needs at the October 25 FCwalk and CARnival. Instead of the normal Friendship Circle “walk” at LifeTown, participants walked near their homes and then drove up to the facility for the annual post-walk celebration. This year, everyone stayed in their cars as they received food and tee shirts and played games through the car windows. More than 500 people, including participants and volunteers, took part.

“This is our fourth year coming, and I’m so impressed,” said Debbie Kirchen, who came with her family, including sons Daniel, 7, and Josh, 4, to show their support for the “Rebecca’s World” walk team. “It’s amazing to see all the volunteers and everything is so well thought out.”

FCwalk 2020 began with a virtual kickoff on Facebook that included a video roundup of the various virtual events that Friendship Circle has been hosting since the pandemic began and messages from FC families about the role the organization plays in their lives.

In the spirit of togetherness, a ceremonial baton toss was shown on screen with walk participants from Short Hills to West Orange and from Livingston and Hoboken and beyond appearing to throw a blue baton from person to person, and from town to town. In reality, all the participants were in their own homes and social distant, ensuring everyone’s safety.

Also sharing greetings in the kickoff show were a few celebrity guests, including Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner Kersee and Giants great Plaxico Burress, who said, “Let’s go. We’re going to walk, we are going to run, we are going to continue to defy the odds that is what we do.”

The walk raised more than $160,000 to date for Friendship Circle programs.

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