WHO WE ARE
JEREMY "KRISPY" COHEN
ADDITIONAL BOARD MEMBERS
MATTHEW "DUSTY" BRODEUR
ROB "MAGIC NURSE" DIVERS
PAUL "FUDDI-DUDDY" KLEINBERGER (PRESIDENT EMERITUS)
MATTHEW "PHINEAS" LISH
RITA "DIZZY" WINTERS
MIKE "BUSTER" BEDNAREK
From a dream to over 1000 responders
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States, making landfall first on the coast of Florida and then on southeast Louisiana. Though food, shelter and money for relief efforts and supplies were immediate needs, the resulting emotional impact was a major concern.
A Shrine clown, Jeremy Cohen, who worked at CNN headquarters, had watched intently and was concerned about the impact on the children. He thought that the talents of the clown community could be harnessed to relieve not only the stress and suffering following this disaster, but other future disasters, too.
A few days after Katrina's landfall, Jeremy set out to contact the major clowning organizations across North America, suggesting clowns could have a positive impact on response and recovery operations by offering compassionate humor to responders, relief workers, and disaster victims, in particular children and their families. He was quickly joined in his efforts by nationally recognized clowns Keith Stokes, Paul Kleinberger, Bob Gretton, Teresa Gretton and Barbara Bird. Soon, many more clown organization leaders had united to develop a mechanism for the clown community to respond in meaningful and appropriate ways to both local and major North American natural disasters and catastrophes – Red Nose Response.
Red Nose Response was incorporated as a 501(c)(3). Since its formation in 2005, volunteer enrollment has grown from the original six organizers to over 1100. While our efforts are focused in North America, clowns around the world have joined the network of Red Nose Responders.
BARBARA "SPARKY" BIRD
VP, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
Since its formation, clowns from the Red Nose Response volunteer network have been actively involved in a wide range of compassionate humor-based responses to disasters and catastrophes, including:
Providing thousands of library books for flood-ravaged school libraries
Entertaining flood, tornado, hurricane, and fire victims at schools, hospitals, community centers, and temporary shelters
Organizing and entertaining at parties, celebrations, and fundraisers for disaster survivors
Coordinating red nose responses and humanitarian clown efforts with local relief agencies, such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, National Guard, CERTs (Community Emergency Response Teams), and churches
Serving on Red Cross Disaster Action Teams
Training multitudes of clowns to be volunteer red nose responders
Assembling Grab-and-Go bags for red nose responders to use in the field
Providing assistance as needed at shelters, distribution centers, soup kitchens, call centers, and other emergency response centers
Entertaining and giving blood at blood drives
Clowning at local health and wellness fairs
Organizing and coordinating responses to Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief efforts
Delivering red nose bouquets of gratitude to first responders, such as after the Newtown, CT school shootings
Clowning – in compassionate, sensitive, and appropriate ways – at community events of healing following catastrophic events, such as mass shootings