Life has taken me down many roads. As a child I was very shy, clinging to my mom’s apron strings, too shy to say hi to a new face. In Elementary school, well into Middle school I was definitely a wall flower, a clam in a shell. Then it happened one day, my first day at music school. It changed my life forever. Music opened doors I never knew existed. My greatest pleasure was playing music for my grandmother who would smile with the greatest delight when I played her favorite songs. I realized then that, making people smile and if only for a brief moment, offering a distraction from their worried world, was something that filled me with joy as well. It was magical!
My first visit to the circus was an unforgettable experience. I could see how clowns filled in gaps in the show to make it fuller and created such joy and happiness. Who would not want to be a part of that? You couldn’t help but smile.
College took me away from home for many years and even though I would visit often, my home was somewhere else now, far from my parents’ house. In giving thanks for the good care my parents received from friends and close relatives, all their lives, I decided to dedicate my life to a life of service to the community around me. I’ve never regretted it.
Volunteerism has been part of my life, as far as I can remember. The richness I felt when I was in the Service Club, in High School, as I would do hospital visitations on Sundays will always be engraved in my memories. That feeling was rekindled when I came to work at ASAP/Suncoast Hospice. Then I learned of and experienced the Caring Clowns, whose mission is” to provide social, educational and networking activities for those interested in Caring Clown techniques in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice or healthcare settings”
What an opportunity, one, I could not pass up. I waited two years for the next class. When it finally happened, it was over way too fast. So much to learn, but the most important point is that this is a continuous learning and growing process. There is something so human about being a friendly, loving, compassionate Caring Clown that connects to people at so many levels.
Sometimes it’s restoring a happy memory, a happy childhood, a moment of diversion from pain and troubled times. The best part is not what you take away but what you leave behind…. chuckles and laughter, a positive energy, often, lowered blood pressure, happy smiles, lungs filled with rejuvenated oxygen. And so I am so pleased and proud to put on my face, my nose, my hat, colorful outfit and big shoes to make people laugh…at me, at themselves… whatever it takes as long as the result is that ever healing laughter that is within all of us , yearning to burst out and rejuvenate our souls.

I dedicate my clowning to my Dad, who always found a way to make me laugh.

To the beautiful flowers in my garden, my Mom, Rosita and my grandmother, Rosa, who taught me the importance of “fostering” good will and being kind to everyone.
And to my spouse, Chris, who supports me in all I do and inspires me to do and be the very best I can be.
I am forever grateful to my instructors whose caring ways inspire all of us to be a better caring presence.
With joy and looking forward to years of clowning, I begin and remain,

Foster Bananas