Friendship Circles to host their 8th annual Walk, Run, and Community Day

The event will take place on Sept. 22 at Luther Burbank Park.

Friendship Circle of Washington is hosting its 8th Annual Walk with Friendship event on Sept. 22. The event is a day to celebrate and support children and families with special needs, and a day to celebrate the power of inclusion.

“It’s that awesome community feeling you get when you’re there,” said development manager Andrea Stacy. “You look around and see all these people coming together and smiling. They’re all here for the cause of inclusion and making our community a more inclusive place for everyone. You walk away with the best feeling.”

Registration begins at 9:45 a.m. at Luther Burbank Park. Mercer Island’s Sparkle Squad — a cheerleading group consisting of students with special needs — will lead participants in a “pre-walk hype” before the 1K walk or 5K run. The morning’s walk is followed by a family carnival with entertainment, music, food and prizes. This year, Stacy said attendees can visit the community resource fair. Friendship Circle has invited 10 King County nonprofit organizations that work with the special needs population including Special Olympics, NAMI and Kindering.

“It’s an awesome way to bring people together and to spread awareness for the special needs community throughout King County,” Stacy said.

The event is expected to have 400 to 500 attendees. The family event is free and open to the public.

Friendship Circle is a nonprofit organization, based on Mercer Island, with a mission to create an inclusive community that embraces families and children with special needs. The nonprofit brings together children with special needs and teen volunteers to forge a bond that lasts a lifetime.

To learn more about the event go online to www.walkwithfriendship.com. To learn more about the Friendship Circle of Washington go online to www.friendshipcirclewa.org.

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