We started a Clown Ministry at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Verona, N.Y. a few years back, and for some reason one of the first congregation members approached to don the colorful garb and fluorescent hair was myself. Our goal was to reach out to the young and young-at-heart members of the church with a fun message, performing skits during children's sermons and Sunday School Rally Days, and even ended up heading out to neighboring communities to bring some of the religion-themed clown fun on the road.
A fellow congregation member, Paula Bishop, was also involved in the Relay for Life American Cancer Society fundraiser, on a team called Carol's Blocks in honor of her late friend Carol White. Paula saw the clowns and figured we could also help her cause as well, so she's drafted us several times to do face painting to help raise money for the ACS.
When she recently called looking for a volunteer for the annual Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Community Day festivities, it became an occasion of not only outreach for a good cause, but a great bonding experience for Gabrielle and myself as I convinced her it would be fun to become her own clown character.
(That's Gabby in the process of becoming Gibbers the Gabby Clown)
A shopping trip to Wal-Mart found some outrageous Halloween-oriented clownish clothes, and with the application of a little bit of makeup Gabrielle was gone and Gibbers the Gabby Clown was there in her place. She worked most of the 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. event on Oct. 3, 2010, painting faces for a buck -- for the Relay for Life, of course -- and seemed to really get into her all-new clown persona.
(That's Gibbers with little sister Hannah)
So now we had this great afternoon of fun camaraderie to share, meeting with folks from all over the Central New York area to give them a glimpse of a totally different side of our personalities -- or is it really so different after all?
(So tell me -- does Gabby look more like her mom or her dad?)