Get in some guffaws while raising money for a good cause on Monday Oct. 17 at the Laugh Factory. The comedy club is joining forces with the Hollywood Wilshire YMCA for the 44th annual “Comedy for Kids” event.
“This program allows us to provide opportunities for 1,600 kids in the Hollywood area throughout the year,” said Kitty Gordillo, Director of Development for the Hollywood YMCA.
This month’s event will make a huge impact on the success of the YMCA’s youth and teen programs.
Gordillo said the YMCA, which is located at 1553 N. Schrader Blvd., offers an Afterschool Teen Center program, Junior Lakers program, and a Resident Camp which allows youth an opportunity to spend a week at a camp in the San Bernadino mountains.
“A lot of times, it’s the first time they have been out of the city,” Gordillo said. “It’s a great experience for the kids.”
Brian Altounian, who chairs the Comedy for Kids Event Committee, said the upcoming fundraiser is of vital importance to the YMCA.
"This event is our single biggest fundraiser of the year for this branch,” Altounian said. “It's a great evening of uproarious comedy with proceeds going to support a stalwart organization that is positively impacting thousands of lives on a daily basis."
Jamie Masada, who owns the Laugh Factory, has supported the effort from the beginning. He credits the YMCA with helping him when he was facing hard times more than 30 years ago and sees the organization doing the same for others today.
“The YMCA is helping so many people in Hollywood,” Masada said. “That’s one way to say to them 'thank you for what you do for the Hollywood community.'”
Gordillo also hopes the event helps people realize the vast resources the YMCA offers.
“It’s more than just a gym and swim,” Gordillo said. “We’re a community organization that looks at each community and sees what the needs are and tries to find a way to use our expertise to help effect change.”
Fairly new talent will be featured at the “Comedy for Kids” night with a line-up that includes Michael Rayner, Lowell Sanders, and Dave Reinitz, Gordillo said. A total of eight comedians are scheduled to participate. Masada is happy to help.
“We have an obligation to give back to the community,” he said. “You’ve got to give back. That’s what it’s all about.”
Tickets are $250, and include a VIP reception. Sponsorship and donation opportunities are also available. Purchase tickets, donate to or sponsor Comedy for Kids.