‘I’m just one guy doing a little thing each day, trying to make someone’s life a little better.’
“I was a shy, introverted child. When I was 6, my grandfather brought me to a magic store and bought me a magic trick. He encouraged me to learn it and perform it for the family, and then took me back once a month to buy another trick. Eventually, magic became an avenue in a way of interacting with people that was comfortable to me.
“When I was a teenager, my dad got Lou Gehrig’s disease. Medical bills depleted my family’s bank accounts. If it wasn’t for donations from the local church and synagogue, my family wouldn’t have eaten. Not knowing when, where or how your next meal would happen made for an unsettling childhood.
You don’t have to dig into your pocket to be charitable; you can give from your heart.
“Having learned the value of charity, I’m now able to share my talents and experience to provide charity for people that need it. I volunteer as a Shriner; Shriners Hospitals treat patients regardless of their ability to pay. Shriners volunteer as drivers or entertainers, and I volunteer as a magician and clown. I realized there were other charities I wanted to be philanthropic with as well, so I started my own 501(c)(3) called Hokey Pocus Children’s FUN-dation Inc. I raise money by entertaining at events, and the donations from the different venues allow me to provide for charitable facilities for free. Recently, I was able to take donations from a birthday party at which I performed and purchased balloons to give out for free at a festival benefiting children in Burma. The charity provides magicians, storytellers, party motivators, clowns — my clown name is Hokey Pocus because of my hokey jokes — and even Santa Claus.
“When I feel something is lacking in my life, I shift my focus to provide for others because I know so many people are dealing with far worse situations than mine. You don’t have to dig into your pocket to be charitable; you can give from your heart. Our motto is, ‘Put your whole heart in and turn some lives around.’ Hokey Pocus has taught me that my capacity to give goes far beyond what I dreamed possible. I’m not doing wonderful things; I’m doing little things consistently. I’m just one guy doing a little thing each day, trying to make someone’s life a little better.”