37 / 12
      35 / 22
      35 / 23

      Clowning around

      Jingle Bells the Clown from Manistique makes a trip to Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay once a year. It almost didn't happen this time after she recently injured her ankle, but she decided to power through it and visit Bay Cliff in a wheelchair on Wednesday. Susan Hattas-Krumrey, better known as Jingle Bells, says nothing is more rewarding than making kids happy. Bay Cliff campers ran up to her all day.

      "I love it! I love the kids, I love what they do here. They are just awesome with what they do for the kids...I just get so much pleasure out of clowning around," said Jingle Bells, laughing.

      But she nearly stayed home after spraining her ankle a few weeks ago.

      "They say a sprain hurts worse than a break, and I said, well why didn't you break it?!" Jingle Bells joked.

      When the Manistique Senior Center offered her a wheelchair, she decided to make the trip, and she didn't come alone. She's a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs - Michigan, which makes an annual donation to Bay Cliff.

      "We not only believe in helping Bay Cliff, but also the children, to help them to go on with their lives," said Dorothy Hoholik, Bay Cliff rep for GFWC.

      The GFWC - Michigan donated pajamas and money to Bay Cliff this year, but for many campers, the star was Jingle Bells. She's the national club's only clown member.

      "She's an excellent clown! Keeps you entertained," said 17-year-old camper James Keranen.

      Jingle Bells says she's never too old to learn and that she's learned a lot about being in a wheelchair.

      "It's really difficult to be in a wheelchair, and I can really sympathize with anybody who has to be in it long-term or even walk on crutches," Jingle Bells said.

      The clown should be up on her feet in a few weeks.