December 2006 Issue
Conference calls and deadlines fill a typical day in Toledo's business community. But that doesn't mean there isn't room for a bit of clowning around. More than 80 members of the business sector are members of the city's Distinguished Clown Corps. They've donated $500 to dress up in outlandish clothing, oversized footwear and colored wigs to entertain the city's holiday parade audience with balloons and magic tricks.
"We know we make people smile," says Bob Savage, co-founder of Savage & Associates, a financialservices company in Toledo. "And at the end of the day, the [donations help] put together the money that it takes to have a holiday parade."
Savage was a member of the first Distinguished Clown Corps organized 19 years ago, and has been part of the parade ever since. Many clowns, he says, go the extra mile by attending magic school a few weeks before the parade in order to perfect their illusion skills. Suiting up can be tricky, he adds, but it helps that volunteers from the Bowsher High School Service Corps apply all the makeup the morning of the parade.
Volunteer clowns also entertain kids at local hospitals and children's homes, providing laughter and fun to accompany their painted faces, floppy red shoes and dog balloons. - Renee Rall