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R&W Hosts Charity Night at Circus

Photos by Ernie Branson

The NIH Recreation and Welfare Association recently hosted opening night for the 133rd edition of Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus.

For the past 7 years, the R&W has had a contract to host opening night of the circus at the MCI Center, and shares the evening with Easter Seals. Because of the amount of tickets purchased by the NIH community, along with local companies and churches, R&W was able to treat more than 400 families from Special Love/Camp Fantastic, 300 from Boys and Girls Clubs, 100 from the NIH patient community, 400 from Children's Hospital, 100 from Ronald McDonald House, and 600 from local community child and family services such as Linkages to Learning, Bethesda Cares, Avery House, and the Montgomery County Police PAL program.

Since R&W began hosting the evening, it has been able to entertain nearly 30,000 individuals and families from our community, said Randy Schools, R&W president.

Clowns from the Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus visited NIH recently to cheer up youngsters in the Clinical Center's pediatric units and to participate in a pizza party with the kids. In the photo above, clown "Grandpa" (second from l) and his mates pay a call on Pedro Ligorria.

The same cadre of clowns visits with Julia Filloon, who is manning a Peanuts-style booth that says the "Psychiatrist Is In."

Molly Pelly (c) in her clown costume shares pizza with Quinlum Lucas (l) and Jonathan Bral (r). This is the seventh year that R&W has held a circus Premier Night at MCI Center for patients and their families, and for patrons of a wide variety of child and social services agencies in the metropolitan Washington area.

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