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Lifetime Achievement


For more information Contact: 
Teresa "Blondi" Gretton 
 3411 Lisa Circle 
 Waldorf, MD 20601 

 (301) 843-8212



The COAI Lifetime Achievement Award


The purpose of the Lifetime Achievement Award (LTA) is to honor Clowns of America International, Inc members with this prestigious recognition. It is an acknowledgement of superior contributions to COAI and achievement in the clown arts during an entire career.

The goal of granting a COAI Lifetime Achievement Award is to highlight the tremendous work, accomplishments and achievements attained by COAI members working within the scope of COAI’s organizational efforts and insure that they are more widely known by the membership and the public at large.
This is not an annual award. Given that opportunities to acknowledge a lifetime of achievements are finite, up to two Lifetime Achievement Awards may be given out in a single year.



To be eligible for this award, a candidate must be at least a 20-year member of COAI with continuous good standing and continues to be a spokesperson for COAI and the art of clowning. Each recipient must be alive at the time the choice is announced.  Nominee should above all support COAI through teaching the art of clowning at COAI conventions or COAI sponsored events, chairing a COAI convention, and/or writing articles in the New Calliope.

          · There are no restrictions with regard to race, gender, nationality, geographic location, religious or political views.
           · The award will be presented to an individual COAI member. COAI alleys, clubs, troupes or other such organizations are not eligible for the award.


It is strongly recommended that all nomination materials be submitted electronically with the highest resolution photos possible to the Director of Membership. Non-electronic nomination materials are discouraged and will not be returned.
          · List alley offices held, COAI alleys created, awards/recognitions, classes taught, articles written, and they have adhered to the Clown Code of Ethics.
          · The Director of Membership must receive nominations no later than October 1.
           · Letter of Nomination - Describe the nominee's sustained and noteworthy contributions to COAI and the clown arts community as a whole. COAI membership development, clown arts education, and the preservation and propagation of the organization and the art of clowning should each be specifically addressed.
          · Three letters of support - Letters of support must come from persons, other than the nominator, who are familiar with the nominee's qualifications and accomplishments. No more than one of the four total letters (nominator plus 3 supporters) may be from the nominee's alley membership.
          · Two current 5 X 7 photos - One photo should be of the candidate in their working clown make-up and costume. It should be a candid "action” photo, not a publicity type of photo. The other photo should be a head and shoulders pose with the nominee dressed in business casual attire. The nominee should be aware that other photos may be required once a final selection is made.
          · Materials will not be carried over from year to year.
          · Spousal, family, or self-nominations will not be accepted.

The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award will receive:
           · a commemorative award
           · a COAI Lifetime Membership and card
           · an article written and appear on the cover of The New Calliope
            · a LTA name badge
            · Tickets for the recipient and a guest to attend the annual COAI Convention Banquet  at which the award is presented. 

                            Banquet tickets will be supplied only if the recipient is not already registered for the convention.  (The purpose of  these tickets are to give the recipient the opportunity to attend the awards banquet where he / she will be   given the award even if he /she had NOT registered for the convention)  



          · At the fall board meeting of each year, COAI’s president, with the approval of the board, will appoint a Lifetime Achievement Awards Committee consisting of two active COAI members at large, 2 COAI Board members, plus two Lifetime Achievement recipients. However, a COAI contractor may not be on the committee in any capacity.
          · The committee’s efforts will be overseen by and coordinated with the Director of Membership.
          · The Director of Membership will serve as an ex-officio member of the committee and will exercise no influence over the decision- making process of the committee, nor encourage outside parties or entities to do so.
          · The committee considers nominations submitted by COAI’s membership at large, though it is not obliged to select an award recipient from among the recommendations.
          · The committee will send its recommendation(s) to the Director of Membership. The Director presents the recommended selection(s) to the COAI Board.
          · The Board will consider its recommendation and make final decision.
          · The award will be presented at the annual COAI convention in the spring.
          · If the COAI Board cannot agree on a suitable candidate, the award will not be presented.
          · Director of Membership will notify all nominators and the selected nominee(s) of results.

Revised August 2012


All questions should be referred to the Director of Membership.

  Teresa Gretton

COAI Director Of Membership


COAI Lifetime Achievement Award winners:

(Alphabetical order by year)

 Betty "Pee Wee" Cash
Walt "Wally" Lee.
Keith "Toby" Stokes
Merilyn "MT Pockettes" Barrett 
Cheri "Cherri-Oats" Venturi 
 COAI President 2000-2006


Pat "Bashful" Roeser
Ann "Tuttles" Sanders 

Bob "Bunky" Gretton



 Albert "Clem" Alter

Tom "Tom E. Boy" King

COAI President 2008-2010




 Paul "Fuddi-Duddy" Kleinberger

 COAI President 2006-2008

Glenn "Clyde D. Scope" Kohlberger

COAI President 2012-2016

Brenda " Flower" Marshall

COAI President 1994-1998

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