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“Laughter Is the Best Medicine” Comedy Night Announced

comedy logo (3)A unique new event is in the works that organizers at SalusCare say will be fun as well as break new ground in concept and timing among local fund-raisers.

“Laughter Is the Best Medicine Comedy Night” will feature local celebrities who each will perform a five-minute stand-up routine for event attendees who will “vote” for the best comedic performance with their dollars.

The inaugural group of performers is still being finalized but SalusCare Development Committee Chair Mark Atkins said it will include a diverse group of politicians, community and business leaders from throughout Southwest Florida.

“We wanted to develop something fresh that hasn’t been done in this market before.  ‘Laughter Is the Best Medicine’ will not only showcase our local celebrities, but give everyone an opportunity to support a charity that provides mental health and substance use treatment for more than 18,000 people per year,” Atkins said.

In addition to the innovative concept, SalusCare is breaking new ground in the timing of the event, which is planned for the middle of summer, July 25, at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers.

“There are so many events during season that it’s not possible for residents to attend all that they would like to.  Yet, there is very little in the way of fund-raising events in the summer when local residents might have more time to attend,” Atkins said.

Organizers conferred with professional fund-raisers and party planners who agreed that it is time to spread out the social calendar to incorporate the summer months.

The evening will include heavy hors-d’oeuvres, beer and wine served at cabaret-style tables in a casual, fun atmosphere.  Attendees will have the opportunity to “vote” for the best comedic performance by placing cash or checks in containers labeled for each comic.

To help the celebrity comics prepare for the evening, Sam Walch, a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, will work with them individually and as a group to perfect their routines.

Walch is a former touring stand-up comedian who teaches comedy and public speaking in the Communications Department at FGCU.  He has performed in comedy clubs, casinos and cruise ships in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean  and is the author of the first online textbook on public speaking.

Tickets will be available beginning in May at $100 each or $500 for a reserved table for four with table signage.  Sponsorships also are available from $1,000.

Funds raised at the event will be used to provide outpatient psychiatry and therapy to children and adolescents in our area whose families can least afford it.   One in 10 children has serious mental health problems severe enough to impair how they function at home, in school, or in the community, according to the National Center for Children & Poverty at Columbia University.  Left untreated, mental illnesses can lead to more difficult to treat illnesses and to the development of co-occurring disorders.

For more information about sponsorships and “Laughter Is the Best Medicine Comedy Night,” contact Todd Cordisco at (239) 791-1575 or visit www.saluscareflorida.org