Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Rick Scott

David E. Wilkins

December 21, 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Gillespie,
Press Secretary,
(850) 717-4450
DCF Communications

~ Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus provide once in a lifetime experience ~

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – The Florida Department of Children and Families has partnered with advocate Jack Levine of the 4Generations Institute and The Feld Entertainment Company, owners and operators of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, to take 250 foster and adopted children across the state to see "The Greatest Show on Earth."

The circus will be traveling through seven Florida cities during December and January. Foster and adoptive families will be able to attend the circus in West Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa, Fort Myers, Orlando, Jacksonville and Tallahassee.

"We appreciate the support of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey in bringing their amazing show to our foster children,” said DCF Secretary David Wilkins. “This may be the only chance many of these children get to see the magic of the circus."

Jack Levine, founder of the 4Generations Institute, was instrumental in negotiating the gift of Ringling Brothers tickets on behalf of the Florida State Foster/Adoptive Parent Association.

"I distinctly remember being treated to the Ringling Brothers Circus by my grandfather back in the 1950s," Levine said. "We took the subway to Madison Square Garden in New York, and the wonder and thrill of it all lives in me to this day. I'm so pleased that Florida's foster and adoptive families will have that experience to see the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ as they build memories that I truly believe will last a lifetime."

The Florida State Foster/Adoptive Parent Association will be distributing the free tickets directly to foster and adopted families in these seven communities. “Who doesn't love the circus? The fact is many children never have the opportunity to attend the circus,” said Trudy Petkovich, association president. "The families and children sincerely appreciate the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful experience."

This collaboration is part of The Department of Children and Families’ new initiative, Partners for Promise, that was kicked off this month to increase the number of businesses and community groups who volunteer to help children across the state.

The program will focus on “Five Promises for Florida” where volunteering efforts are so critically needed:

  • Promise of Academic Success – focus on foster children mentoring and education.
  • Promise of Family Prosperity – focus on coaching families out of poverty.
  • Promise of Healthy Living – helping those who are either recovering from addictions as well as those who may be pregnant and in need of short-term help.
  • Promise of Child Safety – building stability in families during times of crisis.
  • Promise to Support our Seniors.

For more information about this great initiative, please go to our website at

Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey 4 Generations Institute