Four Charities to Benefit from ComedySportz’s Donations, Volunteerism and Awareness-Building
ComedySportz of Chicago is concluding its three-month celebration of its 25th Anniversary with four weeks of fundraising and awareness-building partnerships with local non-profit organizations who serve the community and also have special connections to the comedy theater. ComedySportz President and CEO Matt Elwell explains how the company decided to include a month of giving back to the community in its anniversary plans. “Over our 25 years, we’ve seen how the joy, imagination, and laughter that come from improv comedy make people's lives better. We're so grateful for the support we've received in this community, that we wanted to help other organizations that make Lakeview and the world better places to live.”
To deliver on that promise, ComedySportz is partnering with four different community organizations - one for each of the last four weekends in September. For each partner, ComedySportz will donate $5.00 for every full-price individual ticket sold over the course of a six-performance weekend. The organizations will also present information on their missions and programs at ComedySportz shows. Beyond that, ComedySportz players will donate time volunteering to assist these partners with their ongoing work.
The Night Ministry is partner for weekend of September 6 – 8, 2012.
The Night Ministry is a Chicago-based organization that works to provide housing, health care and human connection to members of our community struggling with poverty or homelessness. Many people may know The Night Ministry through their outreach programs, which make regular stops in neighborhoods throughout the city, providing services to clients on the streets. “The Night Ministry provides vital services to people in need and we're proud to support the work they do,” Elwell says.
Funny Bones Improv - providing laughter for hospitalized kids – will be featured in shows from Sept. 13 – 15.
It sounds like the name of a comedy club, but Funny Bones Improv is a non-profit organization that shares the gifts of laughter with sick children, their families and caretakers in hospitals across Chicago. ComedySportz players will join forces with Funny Bones Improv’s volunteers to take part in shows at Lurie Children’s Hospital on Monday, September 10th. Funny Bones Improv performers will in turn be guest players in ComedySportz’s show on Thursday, September 13th. “These people are bringing joy into the lives of some young people who could really use a laugh,” Elwell explains. "We’re proud to support the work being done by these members of our extended family of improv performers.”
ComedySportz to partner with Lymphoma Research Foundation from September 20 – 22 in the name of an ensemble member who succumbed to the disease.
Longtime ComedySportz performer Mike Enriquez, well-known and loved in the Chicago improv community, unexpectedly passed away in January after a remission from lymphoma. The week’s activities will offer a special opportunity for the ComedySportz ensemble to both celebrate Mike’s life and raise money for the research, educational and supportive services provided to people like Mike by the Lymphoma Research Foundation. Chicago Chapter Regional Manager Heidi Thompson says, “The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) is the nation's largest non-profit organization devoted to funding innovative research and providing people with lymphoma and healthcare professionals with up-to-date information about this type of cancer. Our mission is to eradicate lymphoma and serve those touched by this disease. Chicago is proud to be home to the very first LRF volunteer chapter across the country, and as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary this year and Blood Cancer Awareness Month in September, we are thrilled to be a part of this event with ComedySportz and proud to take part in honoring the life of Mike Enriquez."
The ComedySportz show on Thursday, September 20th will include friends and associates of Mike from other clubs around the city.
The courageous brother of an ensemble member will be remembered when ComedySportz supports The Sam Thompson Foundation from September 27 -28th.
Sam Thompson, brother of longtime ensemble member Zach Thompson passed away at age 31 on June 7, 2012 following a life-long and courageous battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Though doctors predicted he wouldn’t survive beyond age 16, with the help of a double lung transplant in 2002 he beat the odds until finally succumbing to stomach cancer this year. The Sam Thompson Foundation was established to help his family defray Sam’s extensive medical expenses and ComedySportz’s donation of $5.00 per full-priced single ticket will be contributed for that purpose.
“We couldn’t have run for 25 years in Chicago without the dedication of our players and the support of their families,” Elwell says. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to conclude our anniversary celebration by giving back to some of the people who have made it all possible.”