You can’t keep a good clown down

By on November 6, 2009

by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove resident Karen McCannon (Jo-Jo the Clown) is alive and getting well at The Tillers Rehabilitation Center in Oswego, Ill.

After completing surgeries that gave her two new hips and a new knee earlier this year, McCannon fell in June. She broke her femur and ended up at The Tillers after several surgeries.

Jo-Jo missed her Fourth of July duties this year, leading the children’s Independence Day parade down the streets of Sugar Grove.
[quote] But you can’t keep a good clown down.

On Halloween, McCannon donned her clown face and costume and handed out candy to approximately 500 children, who came to The Tillers to trick-or-treat.

The Tillers began a program of residents handing out candy to trick-or-treaters eight years ago, as a way to provide a safe environment for children each Halloween, as well as to cheer up the residents.

“She was a big hit with the trick-or-treaters,” The Tillers’ Activity Director Mary Walsh said.

McCannon and her clown friends call themselves HOPE, which stands for Humor Opens Possibilities Everywhere. They have also brought their clown ministry to the Sugar Grove First United Methodist Church, where they and her grandchildren have performed at Sunday church services.

McCannon is determined to be able to get into a car by Nov. 20, when her granddaughter will appear in the Kaneland Middle School play, “Anchors Away.”

Photo: Jo-Jo the Clown stayed active this Halloween, passing out candy to trick-or-treaters at the Tillers Rehabilitation
Center in Oswego, Ill., while she recuperates from a broken femur. Courtesy Photo