GVSU sororities collaborate for comedy performance
Grand Valley State University sororities Alpha Omega Pi and Phi Mu collaborated with the organization Laughter is the Cure to host a stand-up comedy performance Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. to raise money for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and the National Arthritis Foundation.
Sam Silverstein, writer and director for Laughter is the Cure, came up with the idea of performing for a cause in 2014 during his freshman year of college at Michigan State University. His goal was to quickly build his name as an entertainer while creating a fun platform for young adults to get involved with a charitable cause.
Jeremy Paczos, Nick Tenaglia and Silverstein founded Laughter is the Cure with the intent to give the money to a cause they were passionate about.
“We’re all in our 20s and love nothing more than to play around and have fun, so these kids who are actually still kids and also stuck in the hospital really resonated with us and we wanted to help as much as possible,” Silverstein said.
Since their first show back in February of 2015, the group has raised over $23,000 for the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. All of the proceeds go toward items for children like toys, video games, technology and meals.
“One of my good friends from home, Reva McDowell, is in AOII (at GVSU) and she was a huge help in setting everything up,” Silverstein said. “She put me in touch with Lindsay Garascia from Phi Mu (at GVSU) and she was great in helping to set everything up and getting all of their girls on board.”
Money raised at the performance also went to toward the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, a nonprofit organization that raises money and promotes awareness for children whose illness requires hospitalization. Another cause aided by the comedy show was the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. The show helped fund medical equipment and health care costs.
“We raised roughly $1,500, which will be split between the two sororities’ philanthropies,” Garascia said. “Helen DeVos is Phi Mu’s local philanthropy so all of the money will go directly to them (instead of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital). We had a ton of fun pairing up with the sisters from AOII (to) help raise awareness for Children's Miracle Network hospitals.”
The crew from Laughter is the Cure is currently in the process of writing a completely new show prior to their tour, expected to take place this spring.
“The goal would be to keep performing and entertaining for as long as we can,” Silverstein said. “The dream is to go on a massive tour around the country, making thousands of people laugh, while raising thousands of dollars for a great cause.”