A smile and a cuppa for clowns

Lismore-based clown doctors Dr Sniggles and Dr Kerplunk (pictured) may be putting on a brave face, but lack of funding is threatening to bring an untimely end to their laughter and frivolity.

The clown doctors have been visiting hospital wards around the region since November 2004, bringing light-hearted cheer to patients and staff often during traumatic and unhappy times. However, funding for the doctors is drying up, and they desperately need support so they can continue dispensing the worlds best medicine.

The Humour Foundations major national fundraiser, Smile Day, is being held this Saturday, April 1, and all money raised from local events will stay in the region to ensure the clown doctors can keep doing their hospital rounds.

Were a small and close-knit community and this is a time for all of us to band together and do something positive for local children, said Dr Kerplunk (aka Ben Helwend). Its amazing the effect laughter can have on a child whos sick, not to mention their family and the staff in the ward. Happiness is highly contagious.

Caddies Coffee has kindly agreed to donate 50c from every coffee sold on Saturday at any of their five cafs to the clown doctors. At Caddies in Lismore there will also be entertainment from 10am, which includes local singer/songwriter Ariel (whos only 14 but has already produced her own CD), the acoustic duo Two Coloured Mountain and the clown doctors themselves, who will perform a few of their favourite hospital songs. Smile Day ambassador and well-known Lismore personality Bronwyn Watson will also give a talk about the benefits of clown doctoring.

If youre not a coffee drinker, you can help out by attending a fundraising BBQ on Saturday at Bunnings Warehouse from 8.30am. Alternatively, you can buy Smile Day merchandise from local stores or the Smile Day stall on the corner of Carrington and Magellan streets, which will be open all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


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