Thousands Entertained at Annual Circus Premier Night
On Mar. 14, the NIH Recreation & Welfare Association continued delighting children and their families at the 15th annual Children’s Premier night at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The event, held at the Verizon Center, featured the theme “Fully Charged.”
“This year, between the Easter Seals and the R&W, over 8,500 individuals attended the circus,” said Randy Schools, R&W president. “The R&W has now treated 37,500 children to the circus.”
The youngsters came not only from the NIH patient community, but also from social service agencies such as Bethesda Cares, Interfaith Works, YMCA family services, City of Gaithersburg and Rockville shelters, Schools said. Guests also attended from Children’s National Medical Center, Howard University Hospital and Georgetown University Medical Center.
“Additionally we had two buses from Walter Reed Hospital with wounded warriors. It was a great evening, with a special party, and a time for families to meet with the entertainers,” said Schools. “The R&W received many notes of thanks.”
At midday on Mar. 14, circus clown Pickles (Sean Davis) visited both out- and inpatient pediatric units at NIH, as well as the Children’s Inn. As you can see in the photos at right, the kids loved him.
Above, the family and friends of NIH patient Arjanae Penny enjoy pre-circus festivities at Verizon Center. Below (l), Santiago Rodriguez trades poses with a clown named Pickles. Also amused by Pickles’ antics are (below, r) Alexandra Kniffin (l) and Osiris Year (r).
Above, ringmaster Brian Crawford Scott (in hat) and sidekick Vas meet circus guests. At right, Paulina Y. Mejia plays with daughter Marian Y. Madrid at a pizza dinner preceding the circus. Below, Circus strongman Pickles visits NIH patients Jalen Strawder (l) and Rylan Pederson.
Photos: Michael Spencer