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University of Iowa News Release

May 3, 2004

Holden Cancer Center Patients To Benefit From Clown Program

Adult patients receiving treatment at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa will someday benefit from the antics of a few good clowns.

Specialists at Holden are partnering with Volunteer Services at UI Hospitals and Clinics to raise funds for a special program that will train volunteers to serve as clowns in a hospital setting.

The process of raising funds to pay for that training is already underway. Tickets to the upcoming Ringling Bros. Hometown Edition Circus at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids are now available for purchase at several locations in eastern Iowa, including UI Hospitals and Clinics, the Hamburg Inn Number 2 in Iowa City and the Tanger Outlet Center Management Office near Williamsburg. Ringling Bros. will donate $3.50 to the clown training program from each $16.50 ticket sold to the 7:30 p.m. show on May 25 and the 4 p.m. show on May 26.

After the fundraising process is completed, five people who have volunteered to receive training for the new Caring Clown Program will begin their education phase. They will learn the best ways to approach patients, special makeup and costume techniques, and how to use humor to enhance a patient's recovery.

The tickets will be available at several locations in UI Hospitals and Clinics, including Volunteer Services, Hospital Human Resources, the Cancer Information Service (CIS) and periodically in the Main Lobby. Tickets can be ordered by calling CIS at 319-356-3000 or toll free at 800-237-1225. Tickets will be available from the sources above through May 13. For more information about how you can support the Caring Clown Program at UI Hospitals and Clinics, contact Volunteer Services at 319-356-2515.

The new Hometown Edition encompasses all the sights and sounds of the enduring Ringling Bros. family tradition, along with unprecedented opportunities for families to actually be a part of the show.

The Hometown Edition experience begins one hour before showtime with a behind-the-scenes tour that is provided free to all ticket holders. The circus features airborne acrobatics on speeding motorcycles, incredible feats of prodigious strength, elephants, horses, hilarious clowns and daring young men - and women - on the flying trapeze.

The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is Iowa's only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers are recognized as the leaders in developing new approaches to cancer prevention and cancer care, conducting leading edge research and educating the public about cancer.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,