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An Open Letter to Caruso Middle School

An Open Letter

to the Students, Student Council,
Faculty and Principal of
Caruso Middle School
Deerfield, Illinois

The Back Story….

In mid October 2010, I received an email inquiry from Ms Julie Witczak, teacher and Student Council advisor at Caruso Middle School in Deerfield, Illinois.

Ms Witczak wrote:

I am the Student Council advisor for Caruso Middle School in Deerfield IL. Over the summer I volunteered at a Hole in the Wall Gang camp in Connecticut where I met two clowns who were also volunteers from Big Apple Circus’s clown care program.

I was very interested in learning more about clown care and came upon your website.

Each year my students hold a fundraiser, raising between $5000-10,000 for non-profits. Would you be able to help us find a “clown care” type non-profit in the Chicago area that would like to benefit from this type of fundraiser? Otherwise where are you located and if we decided to use your organization, would you be able to suggest something near the mid-west for the money to be spent on?

As a result of Ms Witczak’s email, we began a dialogue resulting in how Caring Clowns International (CCI) could assist her and the Student Council use clowning as a theme for their fundraiser. We were also able to find and select Helping from Heaven- the Lexi Kazian Foundation as the recipient of the student’s fundraiser.

In the course of our discussions, Ms Witczak invited me to come to their school and kick off the fundraiser in a school wide assembly. I did so on December 2, and also spoke to classes about care clowning, CCI, volunteerism and giving back to others.


December 8, 2010

Dear Blue Jays,

I want to thank you profusely for hosting me and allowing me to be with you to kick off your annual fundraiser.

I am excited that we in Caring Clowns International (CCI) are able to in some small way help you to raise funds for Helping from Heaven- the Lexi Kazian Foundation in your local area.

I am also very excited that students will have the opportunity to volunteer for the Foundation as they support families with special needs children.

It was an honor for me to speak at your school assembly on December 2 to kick off the fundraising campaign, to chat with many of you in Ms Witczak’s Skills4Life classes and to finish up the day with a balloon twisting workshop.

The energy and school spirit among you are infectious. I left feeling invigorated by your energy and your positivity.

I would also like to thank Kris and Kristy Kazian, the founders and co-presidents of Helping from Heaven- the Lexi Kazian Foundation, and Tammy Wener, one of their Board members and Treasurer, for the wonderful work their Foundation is doing.

I resoundingly applaud all of you!!!

Thank you, again!

We in CCI look forward to a continuing relationship with you helping people in need.

For all of us in Caring Clowns International

Jed “Duffy” Selter

President & Executive Director (Volunteer)

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Caring Clowns International is an all volunteer 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization