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Clowning around for charity

News - March 14, 2012 Edition

WILLIAMSBURG — On March 12th, the 1st Williamsburg BPSC (Scouts) hosted their fifth annual CHEO Carnival at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Williamsburg with proceeds benefitting the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Therapeutic Clown program.

Scouts of all ages were busy making sure that all young visitors to their carnival had fun. Activities included face painting, dress-up, lots of game choices, popcorn and other yummy snacks, balloon animals and more.

According to Bonnie Omond, Otter Leader, the event’s origins began about six years ago when a boy in her Otter group watched the movie Patch Adams and subsequently suggested the group do something to help CHEO clowns.

While they weren’t able to make the idea a reality that year, Omond said they followed through the following year and have been doing it ever since.

The 1st Williamsburg BPSC (Baden-Powell Scouts) has members from all around the area. These traditional scouts have four groups ranging from ages five to late teens: Otters, Timberwolves, Explorers, and Senior Explorers. They meet on Mondays in Williamsburg.

As for the CHEO clowns, according to CHEO’s website, the program has been underway since 2001 and “Mollypenny works as a Therapeutic Clown to assist children, youth and their families cope with the stress of illness, injury and having to stay in the hospital.”

Reasoning behind the intitiative is simple: “Laughter and play are important aspects of physical, social and emotional development and recovery.”

“Room to room, visits provide healing laughter, a caring attitude, respect, encouragement, comedy, a little magic and red nose transplants! It is not necessarily about the traditional tricks of the trade such as fancy magic tools, but rather the energies that we all possess inside us like listening, intuition, sensitivity, emotional creativity, and more.”

“In her previous career, Mollypenny was a nurse who worked in the operating room (OR). She now works as a Therapeutic Clown, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.”

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