Circle of Friends group holds end-of-summer party for adults with disabilities

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BELMAR -

The nonprofit group Circle of Friends held its end-of-summer party in Belmar for adults with learning disabilities.

The group is a social club of sorts that was founded by Carol and Bob Cupoli. The Cupolis say that they saw their son David, who has Down syndrome, struggling to make and keep friends once he reached adulthood and was no longer in school.

“During that time in school they have parties and they get together, but when they lose their friends, we have to start from scratch,” says Carol Cupoli.

The Cupolis founded Circle of Friends thanks to a $10,000 donation from a friend and a team of volunteers. The group holds monthly social events for adults with disabilities to get together.

Events include dances, bowling, golf and karaoke. The end-of-summer party is one of the biggest events of the year.

The parents and guardians of the members say that the group has become a lifeline for them.

Marissa Schiavello’s son also has Down syndrome.

“Transitioning him from high school to adulthood, I could have a nervous breakdown. And I've had many anxiety attacks about it,” she says. “But you come here and these parents who have already walked the path don't hold back in telling you what you need to do and what you need to know.”

Group members say that they are always accepting donations and looking for volunteers. More information can be found at the Circle of Friends website.

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