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Michael Friedman

Michael generously contributes to numerous organizations, particularly those that help children. In addition to Friendship Circle, Michael is involved in Milestones Autism Resources, Autism Speaks, The Gathering Place and Rescue Village. A monumental supporter of Friendship Circle, Michael steered $71,000 to Friendship Circle through the Subaru Share the Love campaign.  He was inducted into the Beachwood Gallery of Success, and was recently recognized by The Different Needz Foundation for his charity work in the community.   

Michael Friedman credits Friendship Circle for putting his 16-year-old son Matthew in the driver’s seat. Michael is grateful for the impact Friendship Circle has had on Matthew and other teen volunteers, who enjoy bonding with, mentoring and spending time with their friends with special needs. He believes by steering youngsters in the right direction, Friendship Circle’s positive impact will be felt for years to come.

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Julie and Marc Soroka

Julie has been giving back to many organizations that support children with special needs.  Outside the home, Julie is a preschool teacher at Gearity Professional Development School, and Marc is the owner of an insurance agency, a hockey coach and a member of the Beachwood 100.  Marc has made a difference in the lives of so many children through coaching.  Together as a family, they have been the front-runners of the Friendship Circle walkathon, raising monumental support for the organization.

One of the benefits of Friendship Circle’s Friends at Home program is that it allows Jack Soroka to feel like a regular kid when his two Friendship Circle buddies visit him on Sunday afternoons.  That pleases Jack’s parents Marc and Julie, who want Jack, a 6th grader at Beachwood Middle School, who was born with spinal muscular atrophy, to get as much fun out of life as possible. Seeing Friendship Circle volunteers in action has impacted Jack’s brother who hopes to be a Friendship Circle volunteer one day.

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Hildee and Gary Weiss

Hildee and Gary are involved in the Cleveland community and beyond. Gary, vice president of American Greetings, is the Board Chair of Camp Stone, and Past President of the Fuchs Mizrachi Board. The couple heads the parent committee of B’nei Akiva, and Hildee, the author of two books, is on the Friendship Circle Board of Trustees.

Ask Gary and Hildee Weiss about Friendship Circle, and their enthusiasm for the organization is apparent. That’s why the couple gets so much pleasure from donating time and money to help Friendship Circle carry out a variety of programs that assist children with special needs. The couple credits their commitment to helping others to their family’s history of chesed and tsedakah. The Weiss’s are ideal role models for their children, all of who have been Friendship Circle volunteers.