Members of the Kalamalka Caring Klowns  are ready to welcome new members through their annual workshop Setp. 26 and 27

Members of the Kalamalka Caring Klowns are ready to welcome new members through their annual workshop Setp. 26 and 27

Caring Klowns bring compassion

Annual workshop hosted by the Kalamalka Caring Klowns will introduce other volunteers to the art of therapeutic clowning

Vernon’s own Kalamalka Caring Klowns are holding their annual workshop and if you’re compassionate and ready to give back to your community, you’re invited.

“Bring a friend and join a unique, caring, wonderful group of people,” said Carole Fawcett, one of the group’s co-founders. “Bring your compassion and we will teach you the rest.”

The workshop takes place Sept. 26 and 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., both days, at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital education rooms.

As far back as the 17th century,  Dr. Thomas Syndenham said, “The arrival of a good clown exercises more beneficial influence upon the health of a town than 20 asses laden with drugs.”

Fawcett said it’s a well-known fact  that laughter is beneficial to our health as it releases the body’s natural morphine called endorphins in our brain.

“Children laugh an average of 300 times a day, while adults laugh approximately 12  times a day,” she said. “We used to laugh at least 20 minutes out of each day and now we laugh only six minutes out of every day.”

With this thought in mind, in 1999, Fawcett and Dixie Mackie formed and trained the first eight volunteers who became known as the Kalamalka Caring Klowns.

The Kalamalka Caring Klowns were formed to bring laughter and lightness to those who may have to stay in the hospital, or in a nursing home.  They also give their joy freely to a variety of fundraisers, such as Run for the Cure, Hike for Hospice, Do it for Dad, Kidney Foundation, Alzheimer’s Walk For Memories, Relay for Life as well as participating in the Winter Carnival Parade, IPE, Sunshine Festival and many more events.

Fawcett said there are a number of differences between a caring clown and a circus or party clown.

“The circus or party clown directs and entertains an audience while the caring clown listens to the audience and then acts accordingly,” she said. “The focus is on the connection between the clown and patient, staff or family, the heart-to-heart connection.

“We care. It is human connection, one moment at a time, one patient at a time, one heart at a time.”

The clowns are well-known for their high quality workshops which include: The Art of Therapeutic Clowning, Hospital Etiquette, Listening Skills, Benefits of Humour, Clown Character Development, Clown Sensitivity, Appropriate Make-up and Costuming, Simple Magic Tricks, Creating Balloon Animals and much more.

“You can become a caring clown by giving and sharing what you have — your caring, your love, your laughter.

“The main characteristic of a therapeutic clown is compassion.  The rest you can learn by attending our workshop. It is a guaranteed fun two days.”

For more information and to register, call Donna at 250-558-5923 or Val at 250-549-1435 or see www.kalamalkacaringklowns.com