Ruth Cull Endowment Fund for CHEO’s Therapeutic Clown Program

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This year marks the 20th anniversary of CHEO’s very own Therapeutic Clown, Molly Penny. But you may know her as Ruth Cull, who has also been a valued member of CHEO for almost 50 years!

There is no doubt that CHEO is very close to Ruth’s heart. She has dedicated her life to helping and healing sick and injured kids – and by extension, helping their families – their moms, dads, and siblings. She provides a level of care, compassion and sense of humour that is unmatched and permeates throughout the halls at CHEO.

In honour of Molly Penny’s anniversary and Ruth’s commitment and dedication to CHEO’s kids and families, an endowment fund has been established and named in honour of Ruth and in support of the Therapeutic Clown program.

This endowment fund will help to ensure ongoing support and funding for the Therapeutic Clown program for years to come. The fund is preserved in perpetuity and the annual interest generated goes directly to the program. Contributions to the fund can be made at any time.

Laughter and play are important aspects of the physical, social and emotional development of children, and they are equally vital to their recovery. Children and youth who face health-altering challenges desperately need to find playfulness and joyful moments during their stay in hospital or while having a medical procedure.

CHEO’s resident Therapeutic Clown, Molly Penny, is a perfect example of CHEO’s commitment to letting kids be kids. When children and youth are facing medical challenges, it is often the day-to-day things that cause them the most stress. Painful medical procedures delivered in a clinical setting, being away from home and school, and missing friends and family can all become barriers to a young patient’s healing. Using therapeutic and diversional play while maintaining a child-friendly atmosphere in the hospital have been shown to improve mood, decrease anxiety, and positively impact medical outcomes. So whether it is a brussels sprout wrapped in a Lindt chocolate wrapper or a brown “E,” Molly Penny is there putting a smile on a child’s face and more importantly, playing a huge part in a young patient’s healing. 

If you are interested in joining this effort to honour and recognize Ruth’s extraordinary contribution as CHEO’s Therapeutic Clown, and to support this important program, please click the link below to make a donation to the “Ruth Cull Endowment Fund for CHEO’s Therapeutic Clown Program.” Thank you!

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