On January 21, 2017, laughter and fun filled the Naval Base Kitsap gymnasium in Bremerton for the USS Nimitz Kids’ Holiday Party. Over 100 families were at the party which had been postponed due to the USS Nimitz being deployed during the holidays.
Caring Clowns International clowns Flossy, Jelly Bean, Selfie and Scooter were “on duty” to make their unique merriment at this special event. Over the course of the five hours that they were there, some of the parents shared what having our clowns at their parties throughout the years has meant to them.
One parent shared with Flossy that their pre-teen son seldom smiles and mopes around most of the time, but he was grinning, laughing and having a great time with the clowns. Scooter had a parent tell him that several years ago at a Christmas party in Everett he had helped to lift her spirits when she was going through a rough spot.
Santa himself said it was always a pleasure to see our clowns there and even inquired where Duffy was that day as he had not seen him. (Duffy was in Peru with another clown team.)
New clowns Jelly Bean and Selfie improvised making bean bag/kush ball tossing games where parents played right along with their children. Our duty driver even joined in the fun!
The USS Nimitz Morale Welfare and Recreation Director also told Scooter that the clowns truly make his job easier at these kinds of events and that the USS Nimitz crew and families look forward to the clowns being with them.
Four clowns from Caring Clowns International traveled with a team of 13 craniofacial surgeons, neurosurgeons, anesthesiologist and scrub techs to Lima, Peru where they performed much needed surgeries.
CoCo, Duffy, Flora and Rose entertained many children, their families and the hospital staff at the 700-bed Instituto Ncional 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 180 surgeries in the 12-year period…all successful.
They are 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 operated in two ORs, and performed about 15 surgeries, many of which were full facial reconstructions requiring long seven to nine hour surgeries.
This is our 12th year with Komedyplast and we have been on all their missions to Peru. We are officially their international entertainment troupe.
We 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, we entertain the children and adults. There were about 50 families that came for the screening. It is a long and stressful day for the children and their families and so the comedic entertainment helped to distract them during the process.
This year, our complete focus was in the hospital and with Komedyplast patients, parents and our doctors, as well as with staff and patients throughout the hospital and adjacent clinic. We spent real quality time in pre-op with a number of our Komedyplast kids, as well as follow-up in post-op. Our presence made a noticeable difference in lowering anxiety not only for the kids, but with their parents, too.
While the Doctors were in surgery, we clowns not only went bed-to-bed throughout the 700 bed children’s hospital but also spent time in the burn unit, the cardio unit and the hospital’s busy clinic.
Special thanks to Coco’s niece Kathy-Ann for knitting over 100 hats of various colors and sizes for the children and also to fellow Caring Clowns international member Sparkles friends Shirley and Darrel Wood for donating Beanie Babies for the children.
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:
Monday arrival at the hospital in the busy clinic
Visiting the very busy clinic and the burn unit
Beautiful children with their new hats and Beanie Babies
The Doctors which is a tribute to the work the US medical team did and some before/after photos of some of the successful surgeries
To clowns and special friends everywhere…thank you for your support in 2016!! You have inspired us to bring joy and laughter through clowning to hundreds of thousands of less-fortunate children and their parents; hospital patients and staffs; folks in retirement and assisted living facilities; to members and the families of our U.S. military branches; and to many others throughout the United States and in 17 countries. We look forward to sharing our 2017 clowning adventures with you.
Yesterday, six of us (count ‘em – Duffy, Flossy, Gracie – one of our new clowns, LALA, Scooter and Selfie – another of our new clowns- her second gig in a row, … six of us!!!) clowned for the third year at the Annual Christmas Party in Marysville, Washington , just north of Seattle, put on by the SeaMar Community Health Centers. We played with loads of kids among the 250 families who attended.
Duffy even got his picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus. (He went over just to say “hello,” and Santa said “Sit on my lap little clown and tell me what you want for Christmas.” How could he refuse!!?? What a treat for Duffy!)
We even clowned on the ferry from Kitsap over to Edmonds to get to the gig.
As usual, we had a FANTASTIC time with everybody- and a marvelous way to kick off the Holiday Season.
One of the BEST days of clowning in 10 years. So many beautiful children at the Anguilla Holiday Faire yesterday. Rose played “tag” in 85 degree temps with about 15 local children in full costume, gave out my smiley clown faces, twisted balloons and sang Christmas songs with the children. And, Rose got her photo taken with Santa!!! How cool is that?