March 22, 2014 at 6:55 AM
LIVINGSTON, NJ – The Friendship Circle, a social support organization, which promotes a greater awareness and understanding of the unique needs and gifts of people with special needs, honored Regal Bank for its commitment to the community at its Annual Banquet, which was held on Monday, March 10, at the Friendship Circle Center, located at 10 Microlab Road in Livingston. The evening’s other honorees were Barbara and Dr. Andrew Hutter, Susanne and Steve Newmark and Lynn and Edward Walsh.
“The people of Regal Bank are more than just bankers,” said Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum, executive director of the Friendship Circle. “They are leaders in the community. Our programs have been strengthened through their care and concern. Honoring Regal Bank at our banquet is an opportunity for us to recognize them for everything they’ve done for us and so many others in our community.”
The Friendship Circle encourages respect and empathy for those facing challenges. Children and teens with special needs and their families benefit from a wide array of innovative respite, social and recreational programs. The Friendship Circle Volunteer Club motivates, inspires and enriches the lives of the teen mentors.
Regal Bank’s support of The Friendship Circle includes multiple sponsorships and donations. In addition, many of Regal Bank’s employees play active roles in the group’s events, working to raise awareness of the organization and its programming. The bank also opens its doors for special visits by the participants to help them learn life skills in a real setting.
One of The Friendship Circles’s most exciting new initiatives is the Lifetown project, for which Regal Bank provided financing. The project includes a 12,000 square foot replica of a town center, complete with a virtual Regal Bank location, as well as a grocery, book store and other simulated shops and businesses. The replica, called Life Village, will enable children and young adults with special needs to role play in a real-life town square atmosphere to develop life skills and common independence in a safe environment. Additionally, the facility will house a cooking center and space for art, water and tactile therapy, as well as a gym facility, parent lounge, library and outdoor rubberized fields.
“We are extremely proud to support such an amazing organization. It is Rabbi Grossbaum, his wife Toba, their staff and volunteers who deserve the credit for the amount of good that emanates from their building,” said David Orbach, Regal Bank’s board chairman. “The Friendship Circle works tirelessly to help children with special needs and it is our honor to play a small part in all the work they do.”
Orbach added that it gave him great pride knowing how much everyone at Regal Bank cares about the Friendship Circle and how important it is to them to help bring smiles to the faces of the children.