History of the Award

Charlie Whispers McBride joined Cheerful Clown Alley four months after it was formed in 1982. He had a passion for clowning and was very active in the alley. He assisted with clown school, participated in many volunteer gigs, and served for four years on the Board of Directors, including as President. He created The Cheerful Chatter and became its first editor in October 1984. Whispers was an award winning clown and attended many local, state and international clown conventions. Pictures of Whispers were included in COAI’s Clowning 101 book for many years.  In July 1988, Charlie was instrumental in establishing the alley’s Perpetual Fund. Even though he battled throat cancer, he remained an active and dedicated alley member until his death in 1991.  He bequeathed his home to the alley and the proceeds from its sale significantly funded the Perpetual Fund.

The Whispers Award is reserved for a deserving alley member who exhibits, for lifetime achievement, his or her superior dedication to the alley” and commitment to clowning. This is the Highest Recognition for Clowning Achievement and Excellence among alley members. Recipients who have been so honored are:

Previous recipients of the Whispers Lifetime Achievement Award are:  

1991     Lillain Flopsey Martin (deceased)
1992     Jack Hey Clown Blasingame (deceased)
1993     No award
1994     Rolf Pookie Kerr
1995     Lisa Twinkles Ezell
1996     Mauri Binkie Norris
1997     Mary Sugar Plum Lostak (deceased)
1998     No Award
1999     Linda Roly Poly Green (deceased)
1999     Donna Sweetie Mathews
2000     Patti Patticake Gilbert
2001     June Cricket Hinkle
2002     Sue Hot Dog Gortemiller
2003     Kay Raindrop Virgin (deceased)
2004     David Backrub Dawlearn
2005     Peggy Yo-Yo Leslie (deceased)
2006     Becky Skeeter Deltenre
2007     Frances Cuddles Poage
2008     Ken Putt Putt Kitchen
2009     Phyllis Daisy Sheffield
2010     Larry Hi-Lo Barber
2011     Lynette Tappy Edwards
2012     Joe Biscuit Holton
2013     Mike Bo Vinson
2014     Patsy Glitterbug McMillan
2015     Judy Peep Cornett
2016     Mary Charmin Whipple

2017     Aldo Cheerio Iglehart

2018     Pam Fluffy Wegenka

2019     Pam Touche  Blacklock

2020    Cyndi Giddy-Up Annie Parker

2021    No award (Covid)

2022    Linda Noodles Cooper

2023    Jean KitCat Pirtle

If there is a member of the alley whom you feel exemplifies Whispers’ tradition of service to Cheerful Clown Alley and the Art of Clowning, PLEASE consider writing a nomination letter on that member’s behalf to become the next recipient of the Whispers Award.   Inclusion of general and specific accomplishments and information such as set out in the guidelines below will assist the Evaluation Committee make a proper selection:

All Nominees must be active full members of both Cheerful Clown Alley and COAI.

  • What length of time the nominee has been an active supporting alley member?
  • Do you feel this nominee will continue to display true dedication and serve the alley long into the future?
  • Have they held board positions?  What alley committees have they worked on?
  • How do they support and promote the alley in their clowning?
  • How have they exhibited extra-ordinary clownsmanship?
  • Has the nominee been positive, upbeat, and sharing?
  • Are they unselfish in assisting others, caring, and most of all, just there when needed with no thought of being reimbursed for their time or effort?
  • Has the nominee shown dedication and professionalism in promoting the Art of Clowning in other venues outside of the alley or Houston area?
  • A truly deserving member will use their clowning for many purposes, and some of those ways may be totally independent of the alley.
  • Nominees should be broadly active in clowning both within the alley and in the community.

Please be thinking of your nominee now and get those letters started.