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Clowns Aiding Veterans
WCA LEADS IN VETERANS ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMS
Jim “Rusty” Gorgans
Recently I was asked about the history of CAVE, here I will attempt to do so.
During a South East Clown Association convention ,I was introduced to Hugh Brooks from the Veterans Fund who shared his dream of forming a group of Entertainers to entertain Veterans. This idea was presented to the World Clown Association Board during its 2001 mid year meeting. This was approved and we became one of five groups which became P.A.V.E. (Performers Alliance for Veterans Entertainers) these are, Barbershop Harmony Society, Folk Alliance, Society of American Magicians, Bluegrass Music Association, and WCA) Under the leadership of WCA President Rick Zaborac (2008-09) the Canadian Government was invited to join the PAVE program. A conference call was set up and the program was presented and accepted.
During this period, it was suggested by the Veterans Fund we change our name to reflect our mission. President Zaborac suggested the name CAVE (Clowns Aiding Veterans Everywhere). This name was approved.
Today our Clowns entertain Veterans in Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Rehab facilities, and clinics. We network with other groups that support our Veterans such as the Telephone Pioneers.
Veterans Programs Update
Most of you who are familiar with my writings know about an organization called PAVE. In 2002, The Veterans Fund invited representatives from 5 different international entertainment organizations to meet in Washington D.C., to encourage all entertainers to perform, without charge, for institutionalized veterans. The feeling among those representatives was that the shows have been paid for already.
The World Clown Association, The Society of American Magicians, The Folk Alliance, The Barbershop Quartet Society, and The International Bluegrass Music Association were represented, and they began a concerted effort to provide hundreds of visits and shows by clowns, magicians, singers, and musicians in VA Medical Centers and State Veterans Homes.
Very soon after that first PAVE meeting, the five organizations began developing internal systems that, with cooperative assistance from The Veterans Fund, are designed to spread the word to more of their own people, and gradually the need for PAVE began to slip into the background. Now all five organizations work with their own members, and with The Veterans Fund, to encourage participation in service to veterans.
We are proud to say that WCA is leading the way in that transition and in that service, helping to make the quality of life more meaningful for veterans everywhere. Our official documents now have a bylaw defining and encouraging Clown involvement with The Veterans Fund and our veterans.
I am delighted to tell you that Clowns all over the nation are lifting the spirits of institutionalized veterans. We receive regular communications from VA Medical Centers and State Veterans Homes telling us of the joy our people are sharing.
PAVE will soon fade from my reports about this service, as our own organization puts its distinctive stamp on the program, and the feeling that stirs in my heart is that, in this, God is doing a good thing. “Strawberry” and I rejoice that we can share it with you.
Now, I am pleased to announce that PAVE is now CAVE “Clowns Aiding Veterans Everywhere.” I am also pleased to announce that WCA has entered a verbal agreement with Veteran Affairs of Canada to visit their Veterans. For more information regarding this outreach of WCA please contact Jim “Rusty” Gorgans at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Transcribed from magazine by Jaz)