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Shriner’s Circus Hollywood April 21 at Civic Center

By Staff | Apr 14, 2010

Shriners are known to champion children’s causes.
In the last year, 849 active children outpatients have been served by the local chapter, which had 45 volunteer drivers with five vans travelling over 41,000 miles to transport kids in need of specialized healthcare to Tampa. Other children were airlifted to Galveston and Cincinnati for severe burns.
To help fund their good work, the local Araba Shiners of Fort Myers are hosting the 2010 Shrine Circus — Circus Hollywood — at Lee Civic Center Wednesday, April 21.
“We cover a five county area,” said Shrine spokesperson Robert C. Sneckenberger. “That’s Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry and Glades.”
Performances will be at 11 a.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
This circus is completely new to this area, he said. In addition to the regular circus acts, Circus Hollywood features a Giraffic Menagerie, Persian Horse Stunt Riders, a camel act, a dog act, the Christiana Family Trampoline Act and the “Globe of Death,” motorcyclists riding inside a giant globe.
“The circus owner’s wife and daughter will also be doing a high-wire act,” he continued.
Admission is $10, but the Shriners also want to enable as many children as possible to see the show. They’ve been busy distributing thousands of special coupons to local merchants, schools and organizations. These coupons can be redeemed for tickets that permit up to two children to attend the circus with an adult ticket purchaser at no additional charge.
“These [coupons] do two things,” he said. “The big thing is kids can come to the circus, and mom and dad may be concerned about the economy so two kids would be free. Look for our posters at local businesses.”
They hope about 3,500 children from over 24 Southwest Florida schools and organizations who will attend the 11 a.m. performance.
Araba’s purpose is to present real family-type entertainment at a reasonable price, and at the same time raise income to meet the expenses of our local Shrine Headquarters so that we Shriners can continue to carry on our good work in the community.
“We’ve been active since 1922, when we opened our first hospital. Our hospitals treat kids for a variety of health issues,” Sneckenberger said.
Burn treatment is a particular cause for the group.
“A lot of what we do is local, but the severely burned are treated in out-of-area specialized hospitals,” he said.
Sneckenberger also encouraged those in need of Shriner services to go online an check out criteria for help. The Web site is araba.org. The group generally works with kids 12 and under.
“Every year the circus also is a window to the work of the Shriners,” he said. “A child that has a condition could have their health improved at a Shriner’s hospital.”
All seating for the circus is general admission [including sales tax]. Tickets are available at:
n The Lee Civic Center — 543-8368 and on-line at leecivic-center.com
n Araba Shriners — 334-2226 and on-line at araba.org
n The Civic Center Box Office — before each performance
The chapter — known officially as Araba Shriners A.A.O.N.M.S. — is headquartered at 2010 Hanson St. in Fort Myers.