Circus shows up, crowds don’t | SierraSun.com
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Circus shows up, crowds don’t

Scott Hess

On Wednesday night, competing with several local events, the Gatti Productions Circus at the Truckee Rodeo Grounds did not draw a big crowd. Those who did show up, however seemed to have a good time anyway.

The circus, which comes to town every year, benefits different groups each time it arrives. This year, some of the circus profits were donated to the Sacramento Ben Ali Shrine Center, which in turn donates to the Shriners hospitals.

Debbie Foster, from the Ben Ali Shrine Center, said, minus expenses, the profits go back to the “Shrine kids.”

The circus had the typical scene: snow cones, popcorn and cotton candy, as well as three big rings, a bunch of performers and even a clown.

What it was lacking, however, was a good-sized audience. Approximately one-third to one-half of the rodeo bleachers were filled, but the performers still thrilled the crowd with juggling, high-wire acts and animals.

According to Ben Ali, Gatti Productions has put on several circuses for the group, mostly in Sacramento, and said it does a good job, especially with the animals.

Shriners Hospitals was founded in 1922 and has provided free medical care to children with orthopedic problems, severe burns and spinal cord injuries, according to the Ben Ali Shrine Center.

The Shriners is a fraternal organization and are committed to “brotherly love, relief and truth,” according to the Ben Ali Web site. Also, it says the Shriners are dedicated to an interest in philanthropy and their philosophy is, “Pleasure without intemperance, hospitality without rudeness and jollity without coarseness.”

Profits and official attendance was not yet available, according to the Ben Ali Shrine Center.

For more information on the Ben Ali Shrine Center in Sacramento, visit http://www.ben-ali-shriners.org, or call them at (916) 920-4107.


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