Clowns lend Fernley flavor to Shrine Circus

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Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter

Showtime was less than an hour away and children were lining up for rides on the backs of elephants and camels when Cody Conway finally had time to sit down to have his face painted before the opening night performance of the 71st Kerak Shrine Circus at the Reno Events Center March 2.

Minutes later, it was Jughead the Clown who rose from his seat, ready to entertain a crowd of several hundred, all in the name of service.

Kerak Shrine Temple in Reno is one of about 200 temples in seven countries and one of thousands of clubs around the world, supporting 22 Shriners Hospitals.

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The Kerak Shrine Circus, run in conjunction with Jordan World Circus, is the primary fundraiser for Kerak Shrine in Reno, raising funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children and to pay for transportation for children and their families in Northern Nevada to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Sacramento or Salt Lake City.

Conway, owner of Liberty Fitness in Fernley, got involved in Kerak Shrine through the Fernley Masonic Lodge, after becoming a Mason. He, along with other Fernley residents including Darrel and Pat Norman, Rick Swanson, Jason and Chavon Gardner, Caleb Gardner and David and Little David Hamilton, perform as the clowns for the Kerak Shrine Circus. This year’s Shrine Circus featured Adam Burck and his Bengal tigers, the magical transformations of Elena Konstantina, Spiderman and the Dominguez Brothers high wire act and many other amazing feats performed by humans and animals.

“We play so kids can walk,” Conway said. “Everything we do is regardless of a family’s ability to pay.”

Photos by Joseph Maino, The Fernley Reporter

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