Last night D and I attended the Laughing for Cancer Benefit at the Comic Strip at West Edmonton Mall. What a great night out. The atmosphere was so very warm and supportive. You could tell the place was filled with people all focused one thing ... to help Andrew Grose, a local comedian, raise money to fight cancer. 10 years ago after the death of his father-in-law, he set out to raise 1 million dollars.
The show was such a blast, from the gift auction to the comic show at the end. The auctioneer was so clever and funny...pumping folks for just a few dollars more. Then imagine a bunch of comics all running around raising their hands and yelling to alert the auctioneer to everyone’s bid. All their wise cracks were way too funny too. We laughed so hard our cheeks hurt. Not one person went unnoticed or unthanked.
What was so heart warming about the evening was just watching all the volunteers running their tails off to support this cause. From the waitresses making sure no one was thirsty to the cooks personally hot footing meals out from the kitchen. Everyone’s genuine help was just pouring out to make the whole evening a super success.
After the auction, we were treated to a comedy show hosted by 14 comedians ... some local and some not. Three were in from America.
At the end of the show, Andrew invited everybody up onto the little comedy stage and thanked them all for helping him with his cause. He barely got two words out before he got emotional. He said the names of those who recently lost their battle with cancer, including his sister and relatives of the volunteers. He also announced that this would be the last Laughing for Cancer Benefit. By the time he finished his speech, he was not the only one with tears in their eyes.
I’m very proud to say that Andrew did it. He exceeded the goal of $ 1 million. And as promised, he presented his last check to the Cross Cancer Institute. The gal representing Cross was so gracious in accepting the money raised and thanked Andrew for his huge effort. She talked about how the past donations were put to good use and how this year’s donation will help get things get done too.
What a powerfully emotional evening ... one we won’t soon forget.