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Vol. LXIII, No. 8
April 15, 2011

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Nearly $15,000 Raised
Annual Circus Event Puts the Fun in Fundraiser

The 14th annual Children’s Premiere Night at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Mar. 23 was a huge success, according to organizers. The event was a joint effort by the NIH Recreation & Welfare Association and Easter Seals. More than 8,200 were on hand, including 4,000 who attended free as guests. The event offered an entertaining night out to patients from area hospitals—including the Clinical Center—and several Easter Seals group homes.

“Thanks for providing our family an evening filled with fun at the circus,” said B. Howdershell, a Special Love parent. “My wife and I had a great time as did our children who didn’t want to leave at the end. Being able to attend the pizza party, which was attended by the circus clowns and performers...[seeing] their generosity, kindness and interaction with the kids was special.”

Also invited to the party were children from family shelters, the YMCA, the National Children’s Medical Center and several other social service organizations. Earlier that day, a couple of Ringling Bros. clowns visited the Clinical Center and the Children’s Inn, bringing some of the circus fun to NIH’s campus.

The fundraiser benefits NIH charities, including Special Love, the Children’s Inn and Friends of the Clinical Center. This year’s event raised close to $15,000.

“It is a labor of love for the staff and volunteers of the R&W,” concluded Randy Schools, R&W president. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to assist our community.”

Youngsters (from l) Halle, Elle and Sydney Howdershell enjoy the company of a Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus clown. Below at left are “Clown Alley” members Alex Barney (l) and Daniel Sanchez. Below right, Barney and Sanchez pose with patients Philip Bethel (in mask) and Shanika Hall (rear, r), who was accompanied by her mother and baby sister. The circus clowns visited both the Clinical Center and the Children’s Inn at NIH on Mar. 23.

Above, Philip Tyler Duncan (c) enjoys the company of the Clown Alley denizens, who pose at right with patient Jack Duzzuto.

Photos: Michael Spencer

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