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Vol. LXVI, No. 8
April 11, 2014
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Circus Premiere Night Cheers Youngsters, Families

Friends and families associated with Special Love, which runs Camp Fantastic each August, were guests at the circus.
Friends and families associated with Special Love, which runs Camp Fantastic each August, were guests at the circus.

For the 17th year, the NIH Recreation and Welfare Association provided a memorable night on Mar. 19 for the NIH community, patients and a variety of social service programs in the D.C. metro area. R&W was able to treat more than 2,500 children and their families to the annual Premiere Night of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Verizon Center.

The children come from social service agencies, where an evening out for entertainment normally does not occur. Besides the Children’s Inn at NIH and Special Love, youngsters came from Bethesda Cares, Family Shelters, Operation Second Chance, Children’s National Medical Center, as well as patients from Georgetown and Howard University.

R&W shares the evening with Easter Seals and its clients—a total of 11,000 tickets were purchased for the event. This year, Friends of the Clinical Center funded a pre-circus pizza party for families from NIH.

The evening, with a theme of “Built to Amaze,” did just that, said R&W President Randy Schools. “Many emails came to the R&W, appreciating the opportunity to be part of the event,” he added. “On behalf of the charities who were able to attend, a special thanks goes out to all who participated. We hope you will join us for this special evening again next year.”

Clinical Center patient Kristen Wells finds out that laughter is indeed a medicine. CC patient Diamond Kemp gets a visit by circus clowns. The visit was arranged by R&W and included stops at the Children’s Inn at NIH and a special party where clowns entertained families at Verizon Center.

Above:
Clinical Center patient Kristen Wells finds out that laughter is indeed a medicine. At right, CC patient Diamond Kemp gets a visit by circus clowns. The visit was arranged by R&W and included stops at the Children’s Inn at NIH and a special party where clowns entertained families at Verizon Center.

Below:
At left, CC patient Felix Rojasreynoso and his mother Sandra Reynoso Garcia enjoy the company of Boss Clown (l) and Oscar. The two clowns visited the CC’s 1NW/DH pediatric unit on Mar. 19. At right, having fun at the pre-circus pizza party are (from l) Heather Alba, Samantha Bentley and Amy Alba, part of a Special Love program called “Some Day I Will Join the Circus.”

CC patient Felix Rojasreynoso and his mother Sandra Reynoso Garcia enjoy the company of Boss Clown (l) and Oscar. The two clowns visited the CC’s 1NW/DH pediatric unit on Mar. 19 having fun at the pre-circus pizza party are (from l) Heather Alba, Samantha Bentley and Amy Alba, part of a Special Love program called “Some Day I Will Join the Circus.”
family members of a CC patient join up with circus celebrities Dave Smith, president of Special Love, Inc., and his son Willie make believe they are in the circus.

Above, family members of a CC patient join up with circus celebrities. At right, Dave Smith, president of Special Love, Inc., and his son Willie make believe they are in the circus.

Photos: Michael Spencer, Ernie Branson


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