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Wrong Cheryl Lekousi?

Cheryl Lekousi

Executive Director

Hearts and Noses Hospital

HQ Phone: (877) 256-9612

Hearts and Noses Hospital

P.O. Box 920570

Needham, Massachusetts 02492

United States

Company Description

Hearts and Noses Hospital Clown Troupe is a non-profit charitable organization of professionally trained improvisational clowns who volunteer for sick children and their families in Boston area hospitals. more

Find other employees at this company (3)

Background Information

Employment History

Peg Drisko-Johnson

Executive and Artistic Director
Hearts & Noses Hospital Clown Troupe Inc

Executive Director
Noses Hospital Clown Troupe

Web References (14 Total References)

Email Cheryl at ...

www.hospital-clowns.org [cached]

Email Cheryl at info@hospital-clowns.org to be added to our contact list.

Cheryl Lekousi (Tic Toc) has been happily clowning with the troupe since 1999. She grew up watching her father, a professional magician who clowned at area hospitals, only to discover her clown after training with Jeannie Lindheim. Having a background in early childhood education and special needs, Cheryl has been a workshop facilitator in these areas for over 15 years. She has worked as the Executive Director of Hearts & Noses Hospital Clown Troupe since July 2005 and recently become the Artistic Director.

Hearts and Noses Hospital Clown Troupe - Boston, MA - Message from Artistic Director

www.hospital-clowns.org [cached]

Cheryl Lekousi Executive Director

Hearts and Noses Hospital Clown Troupe P.O. Box 920570 Needham, MA 02492
1-877-CLOWN12 1-877-256-9612

Hearts and Noses Hospital Clown Troupe - Boston, MA - Board of Directors

www.hospital-clowns.org [cached]

Cheryl Lekousi Executive Director

Hearts and Noses Hospital Clown Troupe - Boston, MA - Clown Bios

www.hospital-clowns.org [cached]

Cheryl Lekousi (TIC TOC):

Hearts and Noses Hospital Clown Troupe - Boston, MA

www.hospital-clowns.org [cached]

Cheryl Lekousi was dressed as a clown when she traveled to Otis Air Force Base earlier this fall to provide some relief in the form of humor to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

But when she was with the children and families who had lost their everything in the natural disaster, she was only 10 percent Tic Toc the clown, and 90 percent herself, she said.
" I sat there, and I listened, and I really gave them all of myself," the Needham native said. She heard stories of unimaginable loss from families who had no idea where they would go or what they would do next. She tried to answer questions - such as those about what the local schools systems were like - to help them make plans.
It was a different experience from the sort of clowning Lekousi, a member and executive director of Jeannie Lindheim's Hospital Clown Troupe, normally does.
" When I'm in the hospital room, I'm Tic Toe," Lekousi said, referring to the character of the little clown girl she impersonates to lighten the burdens of sick children. "Cheryl's in there, but I'm mostly the clown. I'm 90 percent clown."
Sitting with hurricane victims may have been a first for Lekousi, but that doesn't mean she's a stranger to pain or to people who have lost most control over their own lives.
As a hospital clown, which is volunteer work she's been doing for the past six years, she's worked with children with mild childhood illnesses, but she's also worked with those who have HIV or advanced forms of cancer.
" I've sat with kids who I know wouldn't get better," Lekousi said.
And, while at Otis she felt she could be more helpful by simply being with people as herself as they sorted through the practicalities of their lives, in the hospital, her clowning is integral to helping sick children laugh and just be children.
" Their childhood is not the focus of the hospital. Their health is," Lekousi said, explaining the uniqueness of her role.
Her clowning is also integral to helping helpless children feel empowered.
As a clown, Lekousi doesn't perform for the kids. Instead, she, like the other clowns in Lindheim's troupe, improvises, all the time encouraging the children to give her directions or help her out of make-believe dilemmas. Her feet might "get glued" to the floor or she might get "stuck" to another clown, and the child helps her figure out how to get "unstuck. That's much more empowering for the children, Lekousi explained, than having someone simply perform in front of them.
But she never goes into a child's room without asking first.
" If they don't want us, we don't push ourselves on anyone," Lekousi said, explaining that for the most part, these children have no control over whether or not a doctor or a nurse comes into their rooms.
Lekousi has also devoted her entire professional life to working with children. She's been a daycare provider for more than 20 years and currently runs a service out of her home.
In it, she's come across a number of children with various illnesses and disabilities, and, she said, "I know how it affects their development."
The mother clown just knew that Lekousi would make a great clown.
" I'm good with kids and I'm quite silly," Lekousi said, guessing why her new acquaintance suggested she joined the Troupe.
Though Lekousi remains devoted to her clowning, she knows and has always know when to step out of her role, even when in the midst of a routine, just as she did at Otis Air Force Base.
She made a similar call, years ago, when, as Tic Toe, she used to make house calls. That's how she met now Southborough residents Banu and Kripa Sundar, who have a child with severe medical needs.
" She came to our house and she would spend one to two hours entertaining our son," Banu said.

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