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Friendship Circle of VA to host Inaugural Inclusion Day at the Diamond on Aug. 21!


Finally! After originally being scheduled in May 2020, and delayed due to the pandemic,  Friendship Circle of Virginia will be hosting the first event of its kind in Richmond on Aug. 21st at 1:35 p.m. – The Inaugural Inclusion Day at the Diamond presented by fas mart©!

As part of this exciting event, Friendship Circle and fas mart© will be giving away 10,000 FREE tickets to the game via disability and mental health organizations throughout RVA! Get your FREE tickets at:


Inclusion Day at the Diamond is open to the entire RVA community.

It is generously sponsored by Abilene Motor Express, Allianz Partners, Altria RISE and Dominion Energy’s ERGs, Elephant Insurance, Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, Partnership for People with Disabilities, Rudlin Torah Academy and Truist.

Additional funding provided by Markel and SCOR to fund the Sensory Zone at the Diamond.

The Inaugural Inclusion Day at the Diamond is the first Flying Squirrels baseball game highlighting inclusion of people with disabilities and mental health conditions in our community. Unique highlights will include increased wheelchair accessible seating, a full sensory zone and quiet space, kids field activities, lower speaker volume, services for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, a free sensory giveaway, and highlighting Friendship Circle members between innings on the field! The National Anthem will be sung by an inspirational local musical artist and self-advocate.

We are especially proud that in honor of this event, Friendship Circle will be creating 50 Sensory Backpacks available for check out (free!) from Guest Services at the Diamond for all future games at the Diamond.

The Sensory Backpacks are age-appropriate for children and adults.

“I am so excited to see our community come together and embrace everyone” said Jeff Katz, Radio Show Host and father of an adult daughter with disabilities.

He continued, “Talk about a great chance to engage in world class kvelling! Folks with disabilities, folks without disabilities, all getting together to enjoy a fantastic baseball game, a nosh or two, world class friendship, and all the fun that our beloved Flying Squirrels offer. Only my friends at The Friendship Circle could make this a reality. I’m proud and grateful that the Katz family is part of such a wonderful organization.”

For Shirley and India Lipton-Lesser it means their 10-year old son Dylan will participate, for the first time, in America’s favorite pastime – baseball!

“Dylan has never been to a Squirrels game, or any other baseball game, as crowds and noise are so overwhelming for him. But this event means that we would have a welcoming atmosphere and a more flexible environment that might be easier for him and our family to enjoy coming to an event.”

They continued, “Having events like these can really help awaken the community and help people see where things can be improved, more fun, and more inclusive so everybody can enjoy these things together.

“It’s nice to think that if this takes off well, maybe the idea will continue to catch on in our community and we could go out to more events and give Dylan the opportunities that many other families go to all the time without even batting an eye.”

The Flying Squirrels have wanted to create an event like this for many years, and found a partner in Friendship Circle.

“Inclusion is a very important part of the flying Squirrels, and we look forward to working with Friendship Circle to bring the inaugural Disability Inclusion Day to The Diamond on Aug. 21st.”

To claim your FREE tickets, please visit InclusionDayRVA.com or FriendshipCircleVA.org for more information or questions.

Visit friendshipcircleva.org to learn more about how our non-profit facilitates friendships and social opportunities for people with and without disabilities via our free programs such as Birthday Circle, Friends@Home, and Friends with Pens – enriching lives and building an inclusive community one friendship at a time.