Clowns off for a laugh

By Danielle Galvin
THEY say laughter is the best medicine and clown doctor Tim Webster is no exception.
This year, the Kooweerup funnyman will be taking a team of 20 and heading to Southern India to bring smiles to children and patients at the local hospital.
In March, he’s hosting a gala dinner to raise money for the trip he’s running with the group Humanitarian Clowns Abroad.
“This September, I’m planning the first humanitarian clown trip to India,” he said.
The gala will be on Friday 9 March at the Kooweerup Community Centre and tickets are $65.
Performer Mark Andrew will be providing the entertainment. He’s an impersonator who will be taking off Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Dean Martin, Tom Jones and Austin Powers.
Harry Houdiddnt will also be a guest on the night.
Mr Webster is hoping to raise enough money to give presents to the local children as well.
“The idea behind it is to promote joy and laughter to people in the most disadvantaged areas of India,” he said.
Mr Webster, who has been “clowning” for eight years, will be working at the famous CMC Hospital in Vellore with his team of clowns.
“We’ll be working there within the children’s ward, psychiatrics ward, the emergency waiting area and the intensive care units,” he said.
The 25-day trip will also include visits to orphanages in the area and school groups.
Last year, Mr Webster went to Costa Rica on a similar trip and found that people were interested in what he had learned and what his experience was like.
“I lived in India for six months and did some community development work. Now, I’m using my resources and networks with hospitals and communities to create a large roam around,” he said.
There’s a host of new clowns starting on the trip and the clown doctor will be teaching the others the ropes.
“If anyone does want to come with us on the trip, there are some places available. They will be given training so no previous experience is necessary,” he said.
Anyone wanting to sponsor the trip, fund-raise or help out can contact Mr Webster through the Humanitarian Clowns Abroad Facebook page.