South Atlantic Shrine Clown Association 

We Clown for the Kids!

                                         History of SASCA

A SHORT HISTORY OF SASCA

When SASCA was first started, members of the Clown units met in Rocky Mount, N.C. at the request of Kena Temple Past Potentate Ignatius Rutkowski, and agreed to form the Association with member Temples from South and North Carolina and Virginia. “Doc” Henslee, from Omar Temple agreed at the meeting to take the Presidency for 1974 – 75 if Stewart Gregg, our President for 1978 – 79, would take Secretary. The Charter Temples were from NC, Oasis and Sudan, from SC Hejaz, Omar and Jamil and from Va. Acca, Kazim, Kena and Khedive. In 1976 Amran from NC and Beni Kedem from WV were admitted, then in 1979 we added Jericho and Kerbela from Tennessee. El Hasa from Kentucky joined in 1980 and Oleika was welcomed aboard in 1991. Rizpah and Nemesis Temples were approved in 2001. 

At first, we had our Mid-Winter meetings as a one day work session with emphasis on make-up and costuming, meeting in Rocky Mount and Burlington NC as well as Richmond Va. and Macon Ga. At that time, we were hosting any fun unit that wished to be a member, which included a couple of costume units as well as the Omar Jazz Mortician unit. Jack Anderson and Jim “Dune Buggy” Russell came down several times to give us instructions in both, as well as Balloon twisting. 

We began going to the Kerbela Fun Fest for Mothers Day Weekend in 1985, and with the exception of 1994, when French Harvey moved the Mid-winter to Charlotte, NC, we have had our Mid-Winter there ever since. My only regret of this is that we no longer have the working session to teach new clowns make-up and parade ability. 

Our Fall session has always been along with the Shrine Association, with the first in 1974 at Myrtle Beach, SC, however we originally had the Parade ability competition after the Individual and Skit competitions. At one time, we would meet in the Myrtle Square Mall parking lot for this, and later in the Holliday Inn parking lot at 803 S. Ocean Boulevard.

 We moved to the Sea Mist in 1995, due to problems at the Holliday Inn, and have used them for our Myrtle Beach Headquarters ever since. We have gradually built up our room reservations from 8 when we were in the Holiday Inn, to more than 60 this year.

In 2003-04 there were 452 active members from 16 out of 17 Shrine Centers, and 25 active Units out of a known 30 units. We would welcome the Nemesis Clowns to our association, and have invited them each year, however they continue to decline. We have also tried to get several units that are still active, but no longer a member, to rejoin us, but to no avail as yet. Some units from past years have folded due to lack of membership. Remember though, your officers are here to help YOU and your unit. If you are an inactive unit, or a unit that has dropped out, we will be happy to come to your unit and explain the benefits of belonging at the present time. If you are a current member, you know that we are constantly striving to better our association, and we will be more than happy to attend one of your meetings to try to help you if you so desire. 

After the Black Camel visited in 2004-05, we had a total of 488 members.  In 2009,  we have approximately 250 members.
All the officers are working hard to get new members and to activate ones who have slipped through the cracks.

 Our Fall session has been moving around.  In 2005 and 2006, we were in Virginia Beach with headquarters at the Double Tree Hotel.  In 2007, we were back at the Sea Mist in Myrtle Beach.  2008 found us in Pigeon Forge, TN with headquarters at the Grand Hotel.  Our latest convention was back in Virginia Beach at the Double Tree Hotel.

 You said that you wanted nice Trophies and we responded. You asked for the newsletter that you were promised, and again we responded. You asked for International Judges and that’s what you are again getting. Your officers are striving to live up to our motto; MAKING TOMORROWS CLOWNS BETTER, TODAY!”, and we stand behind our membership 100%.

 We have had Bob Rockman of La Rock’s Fun & Majik around for a good while, as well as Tony Jones with Betty’s Costumes recently, as our Costumers and Make-up suppliers, however Jack Anderson, Judy Mac, Buddy Prince Shoes and several others have graced our halls in the early days. Our Vendors strive to keep us well dressed and with the latest in make-up, as well as teaching us proper make-up and costuming, how to blow balloons and other facets of clowning. We make sure to put on classes on Thursday afternoon each September.

 Originally, we had a one-page newsletter that went out after each session, written by our Secretary, of which Clifford Metz, Past President of the association, held the job the longest. He became Secretary in September of 1985 and held this job until September of 1998. On his retirement, he was named Secretary Emeritus of our Association. We had two other Secretaries before Past President Edward Harper took over as Secretary – Treasurer in September of 2001 and started our current newsletter. Our secretary/treasurer takes responsibility for the newsletter.  We have started a website http://sasca.webs.com for anyone who is interested.  If you have anything you want to put in the newsletter you can send it to Carl Wellman @ [email protected]

This article was originally by Ed A. Harper.  There have been some additions courtesy of the webmaster.