A youth group turns their grief into a circus – story in the Nyack (NY) News and Views:
Almost everything about the history of this circus is amazing and graceful. The idea to have a youth-led circus arts and fitness program in Nyack sprang from the emotional abyss that followed the attacks of September 11th. A group of young people at Grace Episcopal Church sought a way to comprehend the enormity of the violent event and the personal loss of members of their church community, Welles Remy Crowther and Stacey Sennas McGowan.
The teens were already part of the Grace Episcopal Church’s Senior Youth Group chaperoned by Carlo Pellegrini and Janet Hayes, a group that Remy’s sister Paige had attended. Pellegrini, a veteran circus performer and dancer had introduced some basic circus skills as team and esteem building activities. Hayes brought her experience as a licensed occupational therapy assistant to facilitate eight months of workshops.
“One day the teens took Janet and me to what was then the Skylark Dinner. They had something to tell us.” Pellegrini recalled. “ We are teenagers, therefore we are amazing: and we are at Grace Church, that makes us the Amazing Grace Circus,” the kids declared.