Cole Brothers Clown Brings Smiles to Woodmere Rehab
Tom E. Boy of Cole Brothers Circus.
Photo courtesy of stuff4clowns.com
By Natalia Kozikowska
Jul 27, 2012
For Tom King, “Tom E. Boy,” clowning around is no joke. King has been working as a clown for over 25 years and loves to bring laughter to places that need it the most, just like the Woodmere Rehabilitation Center.
King, who now works for The Cole Brothers Circus, visited the Woodmere Rehabilitation Center on Wednesday. During his stay he visited several different units and lit up the crowd with balloon animals and plenty of jokes. When asked what he loves most about his job, King said, “The eyes ? just watching them and seeing life come into their eyes.” He added, “That’s why I do it. A lot of these folks don’t have a family so we come in to visit. It’s a big deal to them and it’s an even bigger deal for us.”
Barbara Goldstein, a patient at the Woodmere Rehabilitation Center says that she felt that King and his balloon animals were very funny. “This is great for the rehab center because clowns make people happy,” she says. “A lot of us are in wheelchairs and bed and I feel like he just made them happy.”
Bernard Manning, also a patient at the center, says that Tom E. Boy really made him laugh. “He is a funny guy,” he says. Manning asserts that King was in need of a honky nose. “Once his nose honks he will be a lot funnier.” Overall Manning felt that the clown’s visit helped create a different atmosphere. “It lifts the spirits of the people and it entertains them,” he says. “It’s a nice gesture to come on down and see the different types of people.”
Patient Jean Karroll also agreed that King was just what the center needed. “The people here just need to laugh every once in a while,” he says. “They are just too serious all too often.”
Irene Carr, Director of Therapeutic Recreation says that entertainment like Tom E. Boy truly brings joy to the patients. “It brings laughter and smiles and that’s important,” she says. “I know he made me laugh and if you could see, the residents laughed too – they say laughter is the best medicine after all.”
Mitchell Teller, Administrator of the Woodmere Rehabilitation Center, says that having Tom E. Boy visit keeps the residents connected to the community. “This may have been an activity that they enjoyed as young people – maybe as a child or maybe with their children growing up. It brings back good memories.” Teller often hears positive feedback from the residents, the families and even the staff that entertainment like the clown boosts the morale of the center. “Some people come here short term and some people live here for the remainder of their lives – either way, it brightens up their day.”
Michael Norris, Marketing Director for Cole Brothers Circus says that the circus often does these sorts of things in small communities. “We do a lot of community outreach and it helps a lot,” he says. “In unfortunate situations I hope we can bring a lot of cheer.”
Cole Brothers Circus is coming to Firemen’s Memorial Field in Oceanside July 30 through August 1. Tickets are required. You may purchase tickets online at www.colebroscircus.com or buy tickets upon arrival.