Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus donates playground to Baltimore County school

WOODLAWN, Md. - They make a living bringing laughter and joy to others. But Tuesday, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus left behind a gift at one Baltimore County elementary school that will last for years.

The circus, which is in town through April 6, helped install a new playground at Dogwood Elementary School in Woodlawn.

“When my teacher said we're going to see [the circus], I felt so excited,” said Mosissa Kassaye, a first grader at the school

Dogwood Elementary principal Betty Pettiford said the circus is responsible for making one of her dreams become a reality: a new safe playground for all the students to enjoy."

The theme of the circus this year is "built to amaze.” Nothing could be truer for those at this school.

“We have been fundraising for the past six years to raise money for a new safe playground,” Pettiford said. “Barnum and Bailey just happened to drop in our door. And they donated an entire playground. And we are so happy for their generous contribution.”

Dean Kelley, a clown with the circus, said they travel to 45 cities a year and they make their way to a new city almost every week. He said to be able to help a school out like this is something special and very rewarding.

Kassaye is among those students appreciative of the generous gift.

"I can't wait until tomorrow, because we can play,” she said. “My class can play on that big playground.”

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