Dr. Hamsterfuzz of Room Circus. Photo by Linda Severt, Program Director, Room Circus Medical Clowning

The Scary Clown Fad Is Killing Fundraising Efforts For Seattle Clown Nonprofit

It’s “like raising funds for axe murderers.”

The national creepy clown scare reached Washington state just in time for Halloween. Early in October, Seattle Public schools warned parents about the phenomenon. Pretty much at the same time, officials at Rogers High School in Puyallup called the sheriff deputy in response to sightings of clowns in the woods. Law enforcement downplayed the threat, with the local sheriff telling the Tacoma News Tribune, “There are more important things for young people and for law enforcement to focus on.”

But ignoring it might not be an option for Seattle Children’s Hospital. This is because the hospital makes use of a team of good clowns, who might be negatively affected by the hysteria.

Room Circus Medical Clowning — yes, medical clowning is a thing — worries that the clown scare might have an adverse impact on its fall fundraiser, which comes six days after Halloween. The nonprofit organization sends clowns to Seattle Children’s every Friday to help the kids recover.

“Right now, it’s a little like raising funds for axe murderers or black mold,” Linda Severt, Room Circus Program Director said in a press release from Room Circus.

According to the press release, “Using a playful, interactive approach, our medical clowns use music, physical comedy, improvisation and circus arts to help transform the health care environment.” The press release also says having the clowns around can distract patients, make them feel less stressed out, anxious or in pain. The therapeutic benefits of clowns seems to be backed up by some recent research in the European Journal of Pediatrics, the press release notes.

Room Circus isn’t just worried about a possible loss of funding — the press release notes that the clowns make a big difference for the kids in the hospital, and the clown scare might make them afraid of clowns.

Even Stephen King, author of the infamous creepy clown novel It (and perhaps partly responsible for the nation’s fear of clowns), seems to agree.

If this situation bums you out, You can donate to Room Circus or buy tickets to its November 6 benefit concert on the Room Circus website.


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