Caring Clowns International members LaLa and Scooter took part for the second year in the Relay for Life Survivors/ Caregivers Walk in Gig Harbor, Washington sponsored by The American Cancer Society.
This year’s walk was held uptown in a loop through the outdoor shopping mall area lined with purple balloons and luminaries to honor every life touched by cancer.
Relay for Life provided us a canopy and table for us to make balloons. People gave donations to Caring Clowns International but at the end of the event we gave all those donations to the event director.
Caring Clowns International has been invited to join the Relay for Life next year. Members of other non-profit groups who attended the event expressed an in interest in our services too.
A REALLY BIG THANK YOU to everyone who made our recent dinner/auction such a success. We raised over $26,000 which will be used to help children in need around the world. This is our organization’s fourth auction in the past six years; and is our major fundraising event. Thanks to Sons of Norway for a wonderful dinner and all of those who contributed items for the auction. We maintain less than 9% overhead cost, so the vast majority of money raised goes directly to grants to help kids.
While clowns from Caring Clowns International visit the children’s hospital in Lima, Peru, they join up with a Lima-based clown organization called 3.16 Hospital Clowns. We were first introduced to the 3.16 Hospital Clowns in 2017 and formed an immediate connection. During this year’s medical mission to Lima, the two groups again joined forces, clowning together at the Instituto Nacional de Salud del Nino, children’s hospital.
The 3.16 Hospital Clowns started in 2015 as an element of the Emmanuel Bible Church art ministry. They formed after a connection with David Mata, a clown named POYOYO who had already been clowning at the Edgardo Rebagliati Hospital in Lima
“We love the comradery that’s grown between our two groups,” said Jed “Duffy” Selter, President of the Board and Executive Director of Caring Clowns International. “We support the 3.16 Hospital Clown’s efforts, bringing noses and balloons for them to use in their workshops and their hospital visits.”
By providing two clowning workshops a year, the group now has 40 members. They promote themselves through the 3.16PayasosDeHospital facebook page.
The all-volunteer group continues to clown at the Edgardo Rebagliati Hospital as well as the Instituto Nacional de Salud del Nino. In addition to the Saturday hospital visits, they unite with other groups in the community once a month to visit orphanages and shelters. Their focus is to service their neighbors – creating smiles and bringing happiness to those of all ages.
Founder of 3.16 Hospital Clowns POYOYO said, “We enjoy observing the different reactions from the children as they interact with the U.S. clowns. It’s clear the clowns don’t need to speak Spanish to be able to communicate because with your nose you can communicate with just a smile while absorbing oneself in a world of emotions.”
The number 3.16 in the group’s name comes from the bible verse John 3:16.
Four clowns from Caring Clowns International traveled with a team of 13 craniofacial surgeons, neurosurgeons, anesthesiologist and scrub techs to Lima, Peru where the medical team performed much needed surgeries.
Duffy, Flora, Flossy and Sparkles entertained many children, their families and the hospital staff at the 700-bed Instituto Nacional de Salud del Nino.
The US medical team members are all part of Komedyplast. They all volunteer their time and pay their own way to make these trips. They have completed over 210 surgeries; this is the group’s 13th mission to Peru.
Komedyplast is a one-of-a-kind nonprofit, because they focus on correcting complex facial anomalies, in addition to doing cleft lip and cleft palate corrections.
During the week, the surgeons performed 16 surgeries, many of which were full facial reconstructions requiring long seven to nine-hour surgeries.
The four clowns clowned all day our first Saturday there, during “screening day,” when the Doctors take a last look at kids for potential surgeries for the following week. While families are waiting, the clowns entertain the children and adults. Joining the Caring Clowns at screening day were newbie clowns Bubbles, Cupcake, Curlee and Red. The newbie clowns included the daughter of one of the members of Komedyplast as well as her friends.
This year, the U.S. Ambassador to Peru, Mr. Krishna Urs visited with the medical team and doctors during screening day. He was joined by several hospital and Peruvian health officials.
While the Doctors were in surgery, the clowns not only went bed-to-bed throughout the 700 bed children’s hospital but also spent time in the chemo unit and outside in the hospital courtyard.
The four video links below illustrate the positive impact clowning had for the children; you can see the joy in their faces and those of their parents. The four videos are:
The Surgeons and Medical Team
Click on the picture below for a brief recap of some of our activities during this past year, 2017. We have used visuals of some of our many gigs to help convey the fun of our “work,” and the joy it brings to others.
We also want to thank all of you who help us by way of clowning, support and donations. Your involvement is the reason we are able to continue to contribute.
The Caring Clowns International Board of Directors