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Boca’s race for disabled returns as a challenge to everyone

More than 1,000 wheelchair athletes and supporters turned out for Boca’s only race for people with disabilities every year on the Florida Atlantic University campus here. Last year was the exception.

Now em[brace] is back, and supporters can track their own physical activity through this link.

The goal for em(brace) 2020 Virtual Challenge is to raise $25,000 as supporters collectively achieve 500 miles or 1 million steps, explains Cheryl Saragossi, executive director of Stand Among Friends. People can also just donate.

This nonprofit, started by Shawn Friedkin, who never let a wheelchair stand in his way of anything, helps college students and adults with disabilities prepare, seek and secure jobs. Fundraisers changed from celebrity concerts to em(brace) in 2006, timed and structured with medals for winners like any other race.

Friedkin welcomes this race back, even virtually. “There are still countless people with disabilities that need help,” he said. “Our work needs to continue and expand to make sure we are doing all we can to help the disabled community, especially in these trying times.”

It’s $25 to take part in the challenge. “People can walk, run, stroll or roll. They can swim, bicycle, anything physical,”  said Skeets Friedkin, Shawn’s mom and an active community volunteer. “Once you register, you keep a log. I do this in in a pool and by walking.”

“It’s an incentive for people to stay active safely,” Saragossi added.

By Marci Shatzman


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