How your ticket to LaughFest helps your community

Posted at 7:17 AM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 07:17:57-05

Grand Rapids, MICH-- LaughFest starts Thursday, March 7th.  While the fun shows and comedians are the big draws, the 10-day funny fest is part of a bigger mission: all the money raised goes to families impacted by cancer.

LaughFest promotes the saying 'laughter as the best medicine' with proceeds benefiting Gilda's Club Grand Rapids. The organization is a place people can go for support and to share their impacts of cancer. That can be through workshops, discussions and other programs at no cost.

Steve Shotwell says he felt alone after losing his wife to cancer. But, meeting people with similar experiences at Gilda's Club was life-changing.

"When you`re in the hospital, you have this amazing support," Shotwell explained.

"You have doctors, you have nurses, you have social workers, you have dietitians, people that are addressing every need you have. And then you go home and there`s nobody there. It`s you and your family and you`re doing this on your own. And, you don`t have to do that. You can come in here and talk to other people that are going through similar experiences. It`s just a wonderful place to be able to share."

Gilda's Club Grand Rapids operates on a yearly budget of about $1.3 million. Proceeds from the festival usually make up between %12-%18  of its operating costs.

Since LaughFest began eight years ago, it's raised around $1.8 million.