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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

19th Year in a Row

Circus Delights, Benefits NIH Community

Clowns visit patient in her bed.

Melissa DeAraujo Vieira was one of several young people to visit with circus clowns Mar. 30 at the Clinical Center.

Photo: Ernie Branson, Michael Spencer

Young patient is greeted by ringmaster.

Howayne McGregor (l) is greeted by circus ringmaster David Shipman.

Photo: Ernie Branson, Michael Spencer

Circus ringmaster meets patient and parent.

Ringmaster David Shipman meets up with Jefferson Hernandez Lopez and mom Sarita Lopez.

Photo: Ernie Branson, Michael Spencer

Ringmaster meets patient and her mom.

Rebekah (c) and Mary Haynes hobnob with the ringmaster.

Photo: Ernie Branson, Michael Spencer

Circus performers pose with patient.

Dhruv Jain (2nd from r) meets performers “under the big top” at the Verizon Center.

Photo: Ernie Branson, Michael Spencer

Young patient mugs with two clowns.

Jackson Higgins mugs with the clowns during their recent NIH visit.

Photo: Ernie Branson, Michael Spencer

Clowns with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus visited several young patients at the Clinical Center during the day on Mar. 30. That evening, kids of all ages were treated to the annual Children’s Premiere Night put on by the circus at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

“Thanks to those who purchased tickets to the show, NIH’s Recreation & Welfare Association was able to treat more than 1,750 children and families from the NIH Charities and local non-profits to a night of fun,” said David Browne of the NIH R&W Association.

It was the 19th year in a row that the R&W participated in the event, which benefits NIH Charities. Over the years, more than 28,000 local children have been treated to the food, fun and entertainment of the circus experience.

This year for the first time, NIH R&W worked with the employee association of LexisNexis Special Service Department and was able to include more than 130 at-risk youth invited by the Metropolitan Police Department, according to Randy Schools, longtime R&W CEO and coordinator of the event who now volunteers with the association. “R&W and LexisNexis treated not only NIH patients and those of Special Love, but were also able to treat youth from D.C.—most of whom had never been to the circus before,” he said. “We are looking forward to 2017 for the 20th anniversary of the event.”

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