Moolah Shriners Clowns Turn To Their Balloon Skills To Raise Money
Among the many, many devastating consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been the silence on the many fundraising efforts by the Moolah Shriners. We’re all at a dead end, said Dennis Scooter Burkholder, a spokesman for the Shriners clown division. We hardly get together.
Known for at least their Mule Sanctuary circus, canceled for the first time in 78 years, and their participation in local parades and their red fez, various branches of the fraternal organization are raising money for 22 Schreiner hospitals in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Burkholder, a spokesman for the clown division, said clowns make money, among other things, making balloon hats, animals, and swords at local events such as the Webster Groves Jazz and Blues Festival or the Susan G. Komen Walk.
According to Burkholder, the clowns made a commitment to raise funds over five years for the famous St. Louis Hospital, so they came up with a plan.
They began decorating courtyards with balloons for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and other special events, joining a booming business that found a way to celebrate important milestones while remaining socially detached. According to Burkholder, this is the only way they really make money. Steve Lassner, the clown nicknamed Slapshot, said the unit made nearly $ 11,000 in balloons last year.
Once the cold weather became unfriendly for the balloons outside, they began preparations for Valentine’s Day, accepting orders for bouquets of balloons of various sizes and types in exchange for proposed donations of $ 25 or more. This is the best way to share the joy, said John Barley Frederick.
They received about 70 orders, most of which were made on the assembly line on Friday night, Frederick said. Two clowns, including Jay Splatter Traxel, made 25 dozen roses by rolling one red and one green ball and placing them on a plastic rod.
The bulk was delivered, with about a dozen remaining for a personal reception at the Mule Sanctuary Center, 12545 Fee Fee Road. What a colorful and fun way to make Valentine’s Day special in the midst of all this weirdness, said Sarah Rayfield of St. Louis County, who bought the bouquet on Saturday.
Dennis Barbero of Ferguson, who was also collecting a bouquet for his wife, told Lassner, Mark me next year, before learning that the clowns would also do and deliver balloons for Mother’s Day. I gave her a lot of hot air, but never in a balloon, Barbero joked about his wife.
When the weather improves, the clowns will return to the aeronautics site. They will also make and deliver balloons for Mother’s Day. And hopefully soon, said Frederick, the clowns, cars, orchestra and parades will be back.