By Cindy Adams


Brandon is an independent, confident 25-year-old. He lives in Forrest, Virginia and has plenty of friends with a shared passion for gaming. Breon is a Direct Support Professional with enCircle. He has become one of Brandon’s closest friends. They have been ‘hanging out’ for about two years. They spend almost every weekday together. They run errands, go to the gym, stock food at a local food pantry and, of course, sneak in some video gaming. But, this summer, Brandon wanted to get away and do something different. He had his sights set on a day trip to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, with Breon alongside.

Breon wanted to help make this happen. So did enCircle.

Julie’s Abundance Project, a fund created to open doors for opportunities, experiences and events that may not otherwise be possible, perfectly aligned with what Brandon and Breon wanted to do. Their request was approved, a date was selected, tickets were bought, and the two friends were bound for a day of fun.

Brandon plays basketball

"I just wanted to explore a park that I’ve heard about for years," Brandon said.

They entered Busch Gardens in the themed country of Ireland. Each country in the park is represented by its own style of food, music and architecture.

"That’s the music of my people," Brandon said with a smile, noting his Scottish and Irish heritage.

They quickly began exploring. Hearing people scream on a thrill ride caused Brandon to pause and watch.

"That’s a definite no and no," he said without hesitation. He’s not a fan of heights.

He did, however, have a genuine interest in the scenic nature of the park. He has always been intrigued by architecture, so he appreciated the structure and colors of the buildings that represented each country’s culture. And when he saw the exhibit of bald eagles, he was careful not to disturb them, calling them majestic creatures. It was a lot to absorb.

Breon and Brandon enjoy a meal

But what really won his heart was the food. He started the day sampling food from France and ended the day tasting food from Italy. And dining with his friend made it even more special.

But maybe the best part of the entire day were the words spoken at the very end when Brandon glanced at Breon and quietly said, "Thank you for today, buddy."

Breon and Brandon smile for the camera