ATLANTIC CITY — There were smiles, laughs and some death-defying stunts underneath the big-top tent Saturday afternoon at the Great American Circus, the summertime circus being held on the Resorts Casino-Hotel parking lot.

On Saturday, there was a worthy cause, too.

The Steel Pier donated $20,000 worth of tickets to Saturday’s show that went to eight area nonprofits, said Sharon Franz, marketing director for the Steel Pier.

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Roxanne Grant, a volunteer at the circus, said several hundred children attended the circus, which features acts such as “The Wheel of Death” and the “Ukrainian Hurricane,” a female performer who twirled more than a dozen hula hoops.

“We just wanted to give everyone an opportunity to enjoy a day at the circus who might not have been able to enjoy it,” Grant said.

Grant said recipients included the ARC of Atlantic County, FACES (Family, Advocacy, Care, Education, Support), 21 Down, YAP Inc. (Youth Advocate Programs) in Atlantic City, the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City, the Covenant House, the Atlantic City Rescue Mission and CASA.

The Resorts parking lot along Boardwalk and North Carolina Avenue has been the site of three circuses — the Great American Circus, the Cirque Polynesian, and Cirque Risque — since July.

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