(Source: Mort Meisner Associates)
Since its inception in 1994, Friendship Circle of West Bloomfield has assisted tens of thousands of families that have children with special needs. Inspired to make a mark on the community, Bassie and Rabbi Levi Shemtov set out on a mission to help children of all religions and ethnic backgrounds. Now, the story of Friendship Circle is featured in a magnificent, heartwarming documentary set to air on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7).
The documentary, The Circle Never Ends, is hosted by longtime Detroit broadcaster Eli Zaret, who takes viewers through Friendship Circle by interviewing the Shemtovs, the children of Friendship Circle, parents, and dedicated teen volunteers who make it all possible.
Friendship Circle offers therapy for children of all ages and a wide variety of medical issues ranging from autism to multiple sclerosis by teaching them essential life skills in "Lifetown," a remarkable indoor city within Friendship Circle. Zaret, who made his mark in broadcasting as a sportscenter, captures some beautiful moments in this fast-moving journey through the inner workings of one of Metro Detroit's best-kept secrets.
Made possible with donations from attorney Sam Bernstein, the William Davidson Foundation and several other benefactors, the documentary came about after a visit by Zaret to Friendship Circle some six months ago at the urging longtime colleague Mort Meisner. Zaret said, "Some of the qualities of sports that so engage us, like overcoming obstacles and sacrificing for others, play out far more dramatically when applied to serious, real life situations."
Channel 7 general manager Ed Fernandez said, "When made aware of this remarkable, internationally-renowned charity that was created in our backyard, we felt compelled to bring greater awareness to it."
In addition to the initial airdate on WXYZ, the documentary will repeat on Sept. 30 at 3:30 p.m.
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