Irving defines a High Spirited Citizen as someone who eagerly offers time, service, and commitment to the city of Irving, adding character and inspiring others to lead in pursuit of a high quality of life for Irving. For more than nine years, Monday and Riley have continued to exemplify this character in the City of Irving.
Career performers Tiffany Riley and Dick Monday met in the early 1990’s inLos Angeles. As a team they were hired by Ringling Bros. to direct and operate Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. From there they went toNew York, where they wrote and produced several circus-oriented shows and festivals. In 2003, after ten years and hundreds of shows at places such as the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, they moved backed to Riley’s hometown of Irving and opened their own DFW area family theater, Slappy’s Playhouse.
Here they founded a non-profit called Slappy and Monday’s Foundation for Laughter, which is dedicated to celebrating and utilizing the healing powers of laughter through education, performance and community outreach. Using their talent and experience as clowns, “Slappy,” as Riley is called, and “Monday” the clowns, donate hundreds of hours annually to various causes in Irving and the Metroplex. The two are often seen at Irving schools and hospitals, and remembered also by the viewers of Irving Community Television Network (ICTN) as hosts of a monthly half-hour children’s program, “Slappy Time Circus,” which featured a segment that showcases the history of circus clowns.
It’s in the hospitals where this husband and wife duo spend most of their volunteer time. Both serve on the Funnyatrics Clown Care Unit at Children’sMedicalCenter. Every week for nearly ten years, they give their time and talent to bring a smile to the faces of children in various hospitals throughout Dallas/Fort Worth. In 1989, Riley’s parents, Dick and Joy Riley, were honored as High Spirited Citizens for donating their services in the performance realm as well.
The High Spirited Citizen program was initiated in 1988 by the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau. Its purpose is to encourage the spirit of volunteerism. To date, more than 400 of Irving’s “unsung” heroes have been honored with the award.