Editor: I have never written a letter to the editor before, but recent events concerning the city of Largo’s treatment of the local clown group, Uptown Clowns has prompted me to do so. I was a member of this group for many years, before realizing that the expenses of belonging to the clown alley were becoming too much.
Now, let me give a bit of background as to why. Sure there were dues to belong to the club, but that was only a very small portion of the costs involved. Keep in mind that this is a group who volunteers its services to the community of Largo, and yes, at the time, in association with the city of Largo.
Besides dues, the city of Largo required that everyone have a recreation card. That’s a bit of money, especially when our whole family was involved … And then each person had to pay for the use of the City’s Community Center room for the one hour of use each month – per person. And this is all for a group who volunteers for the city at events the city requests clowns for.
Remember, this is a clown group who volunteers their time and materials, such as balloons, face paints etc. If you are unaware, these items can be quite expensive. And remember … volunteering.
Florida Clown Day has always been one of my favorite times spent with the children of Largo and surrounding areas. I have enjoyed taking my little clown car, and my three children and we have enjoyed clowning with the kids.
This all makes me contemplate how the city of Largo must not realize the value of these clowns and their services. I also do paid clowning. The City obviously either has no idea the value of these clowns or just doesn’t care. To have over 100 clowns available to the community at Florida Clown Day is an event that is hard to beat.
It is not the fault of a clown alley who volunteers their time that the city is so irresponsible with city money that they need to charge volunteers to volunteer for the benefit of the City. It just frustrates me that the city of Largo is trying to spin this as if Uptown Clowns has been getting some kind of sweetheart deal. Just saying.