Around the Town

By Violet Spevack

Published: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 2:19 PM EDT




Friendship Circle volunteers who gave over 100 hours during the year are, from left, Micky Zigart, Melissa Rubenstein, Lauren Aeder, Marissa Cooper and Orit Rubin.

Inspiring, heartwarming … in a class by itself was The Friendship Circle’s annual reception at Landerhaven, where 550 people of all ages and diverse backgrounds entered into the spirit of the event “Be a Hero.” First an opening prayer by Donny Zigdon, who was blessed on Pesach when his wife gave birth to quadruplet boys. “You are heroes,” proclaimed The Friendship Circle’s charismatic Rabbi Yossi Marozov to honorees Joan and Taub Kornblut on the day of their 35th wedding anniversary. The couple have inspired our community with their timeless love and heroic response to family tragedies, as they continue to care for and adore their two young granddaughters, both with special needs.

Estie Marozov glowed with pride as she presented awards to many teens for their hours of volunteer service. Biggest hit of the evening was the nonstop, dazzling break-dancing and acrobatic feats of 24-year-old Luca ”Lazylegz” Patuelli of Montreal, who was born with arthrogryposis, limiting joint movement and muscle growth in his legs. With his upbeat personality and outstanding performance, he had the crowd standing, clapping and cheering. It was more fun than a rock concert. Everyone went home singing a happy tune about the scores of teen volunteers who give of their time, energies and hearts to brighten the lives of children with special needs.