Why be a Clown?
This is a question often asked of the members of the Clown Unit.
Being a Clown requires that a Shriner give freely of his time and often his money.
We wear brightly colored costumes, oversized shoes and makeup. We make balloons, perform skits and do magic tricks. We work to make our craft seem easy. Because when we perform our special magic, you can see it in the eyes of a child (no matter what age), that they are seeign "you" a real clown…A Shrine Clown, someone that has given them a moments respite from their daily life.
The smile of a child, or the squeeze of your hand by a person in a nursing home or hospital makes it all worthwhile.
Meets: 1st Monday
President: Jimmy Smith
The Abdallah Clown Unit is the oldest unit in the Abdallah Shrine today. The Clown Unit was originally organized in 1948 as the "Stunzts Club." Our early members performed without the formality of being clowns, but that never stopped them. In 1960 the "Stunzts Club" changed its name to the Abdallah Clowns.
Since its inception in 1948 to the present, the Clown Unit has dedicated itself to supporting the Shriners Children's Burn and Orthopedic Hospitals. This is done mainly by working to raise funds to donate to the hospitals, the Abdallah Transportation fund, to the Abdallah General fund, and to the International Shrine Clowns Association's (ISCA) Sneaker Fund.
The ISCA Sneaker Fund is a special "Clown" fund that originally began as a fund to buy shoes for our orthopedic patients. Doctors at that time recommend "sneakers" for patients because they were strong and comfortable. Since then, the sneaker has been out dated as the shoe of choice. However, the ISCA proudly donates over $250,000 annually to burn research and rehabilitation.
The Abdallah Shrine Clowns do their share. We are among the most visible and well known groups of the Shrine. That work allows us to donate annually to the Sneaker fund and to our hospitals, and to Abdallah Shrine.
Fund Raising Activities
Our prime way of helping our kids and the Shrine are to work and make money. We are hired for numerous events in the Kansas City metro area, where we make balloons and entertain. This is everything from holiday parties, to grand openings for stores, to school festivals. During the year, churches, stores, cities and other organizations hire us to come to their event and entertain by sculpting balloon figures. This is our primary money-maker, and it goes on throughout the year.
The Clownettes are the Ladies of the Clowns. They meet at the same time as the Clown unit, and are invited to attend many of the functions with the Clowns.
The Clownettes are not simply the support staff of the Clown Unit, they also do face painting at various child-related events at the temple.