Our next customer spotlight features the Seattle Seafair Clowns who have been uplifting spirits for over 50 years. They have an established legacy of community service to visit nursing homes, hospitals, and other care centers in the Puget Sound region. They have been using buttons for years and use them at many events that they attend.
Woody, one of the Seafair Clowns, sat down to answer some questions.
How did you become a Seafair Clown?
One community service turned into another. I was involved with The Multiple Sclerosis Society here in Seattle. I had signed up for MS mountain bike events to raise money for MS for several years. Eventually, I got more involved and ended up chairing the event. It was at one of the MS meetings that Patty, The President of the Washington chapter, mentioned something about “Seafair” (a summer festival in Seattle). I told her I loved Seafair and collected Seafair memorabilia, mostly buttons and pins. She told me to come into your office. Patty had a big display of Seafair Clown buttons on the wall and told me her husband was a Seafair Clown. She said that I should come out and guest clown with everyone sometime especially since they go up to New West Minster in Canada and it’s a lot of fun. There was a reason Patty was President. She knew how to work things, and people, in a good way! “You have trucks and trailers, right?” “Maybe you could pull the Surrey up to Canada for them”. The Surrey is a highly modified 1956 Divco milk truck. I said yes and had a great time, and I moved on from volunteering for MS and became a Seafair Clown.
My first year as a clown I turned my Halloween costume into my “bit”. I had dressed up as Frankenstein every year- and would go out with my kids when they went trick or treating. I’m 6’1” and had custom boots made that added 6” with a couple more inches from the prosthetic head made for a pretty good visual. I added some colorful clothes and clown make-up and “Frankie” was born. Frankie only had a one year run and after that I became “Woody” because my last name is Wood. I rotate between a “Blue Angel” and a Mariner baseball player.
What is the history of the Seafair Clowns?
The Seafair Clowns have been around since 1955, or maybe a little earlier. Our history is a bit foggy. We do a few things throughout the year, but for about one month every summer it is our time to shine. We do numerous community events, visit senior centers and nursing homes. We also visit special needs adults and children and do numerous parades. The biggest of all of the parades is the Seattle Torchlight Parade. Driving around the city on our way to and from events and just seeing the look on people’s faces is the best! I love being a clown as we get to see and meet so many different people. We also get to do things that the average person might not get to do. My personal favorite thing we do is visit the senior citizens. We get lots of one on one time and it feels good to hold a hand and make them smile. It’s true that you get so much more back when you give. I’m thankful for the opportunity.
How has the pandemic affected The Seafair Clowns?
Well, sadly it has completely shut us down. EVERYTHING we do involves large groups of people or being inside with lots of people, many who are elderly or compromised in some way. Hopefully we are back at it next year.
How do buttons tie into your group?
Buttons are a big part of our group! Everyone is always eager to see what the new button will look like. We hand them out at events and along parade routes. Many people collect them and turn out at events just to get one. In addition to our “Seafair” button we make member buttons and special event buttons. Like I said early, I was a Seafair button collector WAY before I ever became a clown. It wasn’t long after I joined the group that I took over button duties. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house!
You can find out more about the Seafair Clowns at www.seafairclowns.org. The Seafair Clowns Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit group that exists to support the Seattle Seafair Clowns community service projects including events at Ronald McDonald House, children’s hospitals, local senior centers, special person’s holiday cruise, and more.
If you have any questions about your custom button order or the ordering process, you can always give us a call at 623-445-9975, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach us through the chat feature on our website during business hours (8am-5pm Arizona Time). We are here to help in every step of your button ordering process, from beginning your order to shipping your buttons for delivery.
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