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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Circus adds show to help Cleveland Park train victims

From staff reports Wednesday, March 30, 2011


The Hejaz Shrine Circus has added a Thursday performance, and all the proceeds will go to the victims of the Cleveland Park miniature train crash, organizers announced Tuesday. The performance is scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday at Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, 385 N. Church St. Tickets are available at the auditorium’s box office for $10. Sherwood Kaiser, circus executive administrator, said the group wants to help those injured in the crash and support the community that has supported the circus through the years. “We’re just trying to make a fundraiser for these families, and we just want it to be a big success,” Kaiser said. On March 19, Sparkles, Cleveland Park’s red-and-gray train, derailed, injuring 28 people and killing 6-year-old Benji Easler of Gaffney. In the days since, many family members have talked about the difficulty they are having paying medical bills. Steve Jones, general manager of the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, said the Shriners talked with him Monday night about the charity event. If the show sells out, the group could raise $13,500. “It’s coming from the heart,” Jones said.

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