Ladies & Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of ALL Ages… Welcome to the PAL Sailor Circus
Sailor Circus was named after the Sarasota High School mascot. Sarasota High School athletic teams were named the “The Mighty Sailors” because they traveled by ferry boat when competing with teams in St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay.
Sarasota Sailor Circus In 1949 Sarasota High School Athletic Director Coach Bill Rutland introduced tumbling as a means of conditioning his athletes. This became so popular that Coach Rutland presented an exhibition in the schools gymnasium. Professional circus performers living in the area offered to help with instruction and equipment and viola... born is the Sarasota Sailor Circus ! In 1950 circus-tent center poles were erected on Ihrig Field and aerial acts were added to the annual show.
In 1952 James A. Haley , an official of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus , was so impressed with the youth circus; he secured permission to use their world famous copyright title with the addition of one word. From then on Sailor Circus was known as “ The Greatest “Little” S how On Earth”.
Another mile stone for the Sailor Circus was to secure our permanent home site on Bahia Vista St. From 1958 to 1980 the circus performers put the tent up each season. After 22 years of dealing with the many difficulties of putting up the tent and nursing it through all kinds of weather, our permanent facility is constructed in 1981. In 1958 Director Ad Gilbert adds the flying trapeze to the show and arranges to purchases a tent from Gustino “Papa” Loyal. Sailor Circus performs under the “Big Top” for the very first time. In 1963, Director Bill Lee begins a 35-year journey taking Sailor Circus to heights never imagined possible. Proud of the students and their talents, he pushes for the publicity these young performers deserve. Worthy of global recognition – Coach Lee takes his troupe to Wisconsin , Mississippi , Fairbanks Alaska and in 1985 – It is off to Mitsui Greenland Park in Japan for over a month. In 1992… it’s five weeks in Lima Peru - Sailor Circus is now WORLD RENOWNED! A Long Journey
Putting the PAL in Sailor Circus After 55 years of operation, Sailor Circus leaves the auspices of the Sarasota County School Board and becomes part of the Police Athletic League of Sarasota County. PAL and the Sailor Circus have a long history of collaboration in community events and have worked together for many years. With the support of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s office, in 2004 the Sailor Circus became PAL’s largest after school program. Over the next few years, our fundraising events took a dramatic turn and PAL Sailor Circus hosted phenomenal concerts including Tracey Lawrence , Styx , and Foreigner . Our “ House of Terror ” annual haunted house event draws crowds from throughout the state of Florida making us one of the “Must See” events in October.
It’s All About The Kids The PAL Sailor Circus Program is available to any child in grades 4 through 12 regardless of ability or skill level. Everyone who enrolls has the opportunity to perform. Even children with mental or physical challenges have found a place to shine as one of our STARS.
Confidence, Teamwork, Self Worth Practice sessions run daily after school from 2:30 to 8:00. Their schedules vary based on what acts they are participating in. For some students it’s 2 or 3 days a week. For most students it is everyday. As we near our performance dates they are rehearsing daily and attending work-call on Saturdays. The students are also taught circus fundamentals such as rigging, equipment maintenance and are responsible for cleaning their facility during practice and after each performance. Commitment
Our Circus Family Stays Busy <ul><li>5 Holiday Show Performances </li></ul><ul><li>9 Spring Show Performances </li></ul><ul><li>Road Shows </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraisers </li></ul><ul><li>Community Events </li></ul><ul><li>Parades </li></ul><ul><li>Private Engagements </li></ul><ul><li>National Organization Affiliations </li></ul>
Young Leaders Giving Back to Our Community Our kids rose to the occasion to help our neighbors in their time of need. They collected, sorted and distributed supplies after devastating hurricanes tore through our community.
Priority on Education Homework assistance is provided 4 days a week by a certified teacher. PAL is committed to provide scholarships to our graduating seniors to continue their education. We take great pride in knowing that children who participate in our program become leaders in our community. Some professions of our alumni have been Mayor, Senator, Teachers, Army Captains, Doctors, Firefighters, Officers of the Law, Corporate Executives and professionals in the circus or performing arts industries. You know you have a successful program when an autistic child who spent 6 years in your program is entering his second year of college and has a full-time job.
<ul><li>Circus Practices – 15 volunteers daily </li></ul><ul><li>Circus Shows – 90 volunteers each show </li></ul><ul><li>Haunted House – 85 volunteers each night </li></ul><ul><li>Community Events – up to 100 volunteers per event </li></ul><ul><li>Saturday Work Call – 20 volunteers per project </li></ul><ul><li>Road Shows – 6-12 volunteers per show </li></ul>Volunteers Are Our Lifeline
We are blessed with receiving over 20,000 volunteer hours each year!
Other PAL Programs Camp X.R.A.Y.D eXamine Realities About Your Decisions Booker Middle School Jr. Police Academy Pony PAL
Leadership Camp Summer Day Camp 6 to 12 year olds
<ul><li>Ticket Sales </li></ul><ul><li>Road Shows </li></ul><ul><li>Fundraising Events </li></ul><ul><li>Haunted House </li></ul><ul><li>Grants </li></ul><ul><li>Private Donations </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate Sponsors </li></ul><ul><li>Bequeaths </li></ul>Funding For Our Programs
<ul><li>Phase One </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Renovate the arena to a </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Climate controlled facility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Phase Two </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Renovation of office space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adding gymnasium, storage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>& museum </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Phase Three </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Endowment Fund Growth </li></ul></ul>Capital Campaign