For three-plus decades, Carol Klein has given back to the world as children’s entertainer MisMatch, a professional clown specializing in balloon animals, magic and making kids of all ages smile. Along the way, the Levittown native decided to make giving back to her community a priority, which started with her and son Garrett (aka YooHoo the Magical Entertainer) initially teaming up with Gary Crozier of the Levittown Kiwanis Club in 2007. The collaboration started when the Kleins were doing balloon and magic workshops for the Girl Scouts.
“We offered the Girl Scouts a $10 discount on the workshops if the girls would bring in non-perishable foods and supplies to help stock our local food pantry,” Klein explained. “They could get a discount, earn a badge and we could help out the local Kiwanis food pantry.”
Over time, the arrangement evolved so that every booking or reference would generate a $10 food donation to the local food pantry by way of Klein’s collaboration with Crozier. Once the party or event was done, food was donated to the pantry in the name of the client or person who made the referral. Pre-pandemic, Klein’s business, Forever Fun Entertainers, was earning bookings at parties revolving around magic and balloon artistry. In addition, Klein offers $20 Balloons of Fun! kits of pre-blown twisty balloons complete with worksheets and balloon creation directions. Since COVID-19, business has understandably cratered. But for this mother of three and grandmother of two, the desire to give back hasn’t abated. She no longer works with the American Legion and Crozier and recently switched her charitable efforts to working with the American Legion.
“I just talked to Frank from the American Legion in Levittown to confirm that I can bring my donations to them,” she said. “Frank told me that they have a donation box for food at the Legion post, When they fill the box they distribute the food to the local Levittown food pantries.”
As a lifelong native who grew up in the Island Trees part of the community, Klein’s attachment to Levittown runs deep. Son Garrett started his own local business, Vincenzo’s Pizza and her other kids have friends dating back to childhood. As for Klein’s self-described “DNA-level love of Levittown,” it can be traced to her getting into clowning after attending an event at the Levittown library, walking distance from her house.
“I started doing this back around 1984,” she said. “I was at the Levittown Library and they had a clown show for the kids. I think I had more fun than my kids did. I actually loved watching the show and had so much fun. I went over to one of the people and asked how to do this. They told me that they met once a month in the Levittown Library and they would show me how to do it. It was around the block from me. I turned around to my husband and told him I was leaving him to watch the kids because I was going off to be a clown.”
As for Klein’s dedication to her community, it all comes down to being thankful for what she has.
“I give back to the community because I feel blessed,” she said. “I’m not making a lot of money from this because of COVID-19—I do this part-time. It’s a way of saying thank you and showing gratitude.”
Visit www.foreverfunentertainers.com to find out more about how Carol Klein is giving back to the Levittown community.