Friendship Circle to Celebrate Annual Banquet at LifeTown

This year’s Friendship Circle Annual Banquet will be held on Monday, March 19, and will serve as the inaugural event at LifeTown in Livingston.

A 53,000-square-foot building, LifeTown is an inclusive therapeutic, recreational and educational center, the first of its kind in the region. LifeTown’s cornerstone is Life Village, an 11,000-square-foot simulated Main Street with shops and businesses that prepares participants with special needs for independent living.

This year’s banquet honorees include RWJBarnabas Health and its president and CEO, Barry H. Ostrowsky; Air Group and its owners the Conforti Family; ShopRite and Neil Greenstein, who is the owner of several ShopRite stores in the region; and Springfield residents Cheryl and Dr. Brian Greenwald, the medical director of the JFK Center for Head Injuries in Edison, New Jersey.

Friendship Circle is celebrating its “chai” or 18th anniversary this year.

Since its inception, Friendship Circle has provided support for hundreds of children and teens with special needs and their families, as well as meaningful volunteer opportunities for more than 6,500 teens. According to Executive Director Zalman Grossbaum, Friendship Circle uses a distinctive approach of pairing participants with teen volunteers, and motivates, inspires and enriches everyone involved.

The March 19 FC Banquet and LifeTown Inaugural Event will be held at 10 Microlab Road in Livingston. An opening reception kicks off the festivities at 6 p.m., with the awards ceremony to follow at 7:30 p.m.

For more information or to register for the Friendship Circle banquet, visit