Manitobans everywhere were saying “send in the clowns,” while sending in their donations to the St-Boniface Hospital Foundation. In February 2009, several local news stations and newspapers reported the need for Therapeutic Clown Program funding at St-Boniface Hospital. This resulted in a flurry of donations, from cash to crayons, in the following days and weeks.
Donations included $10,000 from the Kinsmen of Winnipeg, $6,000 from Acklands Grainger Inc., $15,000 from the Cambrian Excavators Ltd., and $10,000 from private donor, Brian Hayward. Other individual donations ranged from $20 to $500, and some Winnipeggers even donated crayons, colouring books and bubbles to support the program.
The largest donation, $120,000, came from Variety, The Children’s Charity of Manitoba. Wayne Rogers, Executive Director of Variety, learned of the need for program funding after watching the news. He knew right away that it was an initiative Variety would want to support.
“Variety, the Children’s Charity of Manitoba is honoured to partner with our sponsors, donors and the St-Boniface Hospital & Research Foundation to help put smiles on the faces of children through the “Variety Children’s Therapeutic Clown Program at St-Boniface Hospital,” says Rogers.
In recognition of Variety’s generous gift, the program has been renamed the “Variety, Children’s Therapeutic Clown Program at St-Boniface Hospital,” and will be acknowledged with a plaque in the Ambulatory Care Facility (ACF) Pediatric Outpatient Clinic where the clowns are primarily located.