By Jennifer Hartwig, Fort Stewart Public AffairsJanuary 14, 2010
FORT STEWART, HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga.- More than 800 Family Members saw Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown Ambassadors of Reading perform at three locations at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Jan. 7 and 8.
The husband-and-wife comedy duo, Dave and Cherie Gregg, are part of the Ringling Brothers Ambassadors of Laughter. They travel from city to city in their van as Ambassadors of Reading for "The Greatest Show on Earth," performing at schools, charities and other special events.
During each 45-minute performance, Dave read the book "Maximilian the Great," as Cheri made the crowd giggle as she shuffled across the stage showing the pictures.
Once the book was finished, the clowns entertained the crowd with a circus magic show, full of laughter and juggling.
The duo asked for helpers from the crowd, and at each location their request for volunteers was met with hundreds of enthusiastic young arms in the air.
The clowns visited Brittin Elementary School at Fort Stewart, Jan. 8. The show was for all Brittin first-graders, as well as "Super Readers" from Brittin, Diamond and Kessler Elementary Schools who reached a reading milestone.
The clowns travel around the country with the circus and make appearances at local venues to teach children the importance - and fun - of reading.
"I saw an opportunity that these clowns would be in town about two weeks before their show is in town, and they said they'd be available to come to schools," said Dave Smith, Stewart-Hunter Youth Education Support Services Director. "I contacted them requesting that they come (to Stewart and Hunter) and said that we have all these military Families who have been effected by deployment. We put in that request, and they quickly accepted our request."
Once the request was set, Smith and other Stewart-Hunter educators decided on the three venues in which the Ambassadors of Laughter would entertain crowds. The first was the Hunter's School Aged Services Center, Jan. 7. The next day, Dave and Cheri appeared at Brittin Elementary and the Fort Stewart Youth Center. The Brittin show was the only one that had restrictions on who could attend; the other two were open to all Families.
The event was part of the circus's "Illuscination" production, which is appearing at the Savannah Civic Center, Jan. 21-24.
"If you ever want to get a great idea, or just read a great book, go to the library here (at the school), or the base library," Dave told the Brittin crowd.
After pulling a rubber chicken out of a magic hat, juggling clubs and giving everyone in attendance a red rubber nose, the clowns said their good-byes.
"May all your days be circus days! Have fun and keep reading!"