March signifies a variety of things for people. March Madness, St. Patrick’s Day, the start of spring, and March is Reading Month are a few. But for those at Gilda’s Club March means LaughFest. This is the seventh year comedians have come to the Grand Rapids area to entertain.
A Brief History
Lowell is fortunate enough to have a Gilda’s Clubhouse for those in the community to use when dealing with cancer. The emotional, mental, and even social aspects of dealing with any kind of cancer are just as important as medical care, yet often pushed aside. Individuals, family members, and friends who have been touched by cancer are able to take advantage of the programs Gilda’s Club has to offer. Additionally, the organization offers grief support for anyone who has lost a loved one.
Gilda Radner made people laugh as one of the original members of Saturday Night Live. After her death from ovarian cancer in 1989, Gene Wilder, her widower, began making her wish of helping others dealing with cancer a reality. Gilda’s Club organizations and affiliates can be found across the United States and Canada.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
In 2011, LaughFest was born. Why not promote laughter along with cancer when Radner herself was a comedian? Proceeds from shows throughout Grand Rapids Metro go to support the numerous programs and services offered at Gilda’s Club. Laughter is a great way to release emotion, smile, have fun, and live in the moment. This is something everyone can benefit from on occasion.
Lowell’s LaughFest events kicked off this past Saturday at Englehardt Library. Kids were the focus of laughter, telling joke and entertaining an audience. But the fun continues with additional events tomorrow and Friday.
Laughter Yoga will take place at Gilda’s Club Lowell beginning at 4pm. This family friendly event is part of LaughteRx Programming. The class will be led by Angela Essick Dykes, a certified laughter yoga teacher. Based on ‘acting happiness’, telling your body what to do and the mind will naturally follow, participants are invited to stretch muscles and laugh. The program is free of charge.
Another part of LaughteRx Programmings is clubhouse tours. Visitors can learn about the programs offered in Lowell, see the facility, and how you can become involved as a member or volunteer. Tours are free and will take place Tuesday, March 13 from 1pm-5pm.
Finally, on Tuesday evening come to a family friendly drum circle with Josh Dunigan. The event is free and will take place at 6:30pm at LowellArts. Dunigan will lead the group in a community drum circle and how it can help achieve positive emotional health.
The final LaughFest event happening in Lowell is a comedy show featuring Greg Hahn. Tickets are $22.50 and can be purchased online. The show starts at 7pm and will take place at Larkin’s Other Place, located at 301 We. Main. There will be a cash bar available but no food will be served. The audience will enjoy clean, adult laughs as Hahn entertains.
Laugh and Learn
Tuesday and Thursday this week take in opportunities to laugh and learn. Laugh during the various events and learn about the organization created to help those dealing with cancer and grief. Gilda’s Club in Lowell welcomes visitors with open arms whether they’re looking for information, services, or would like to help.
The Lowell location is at 314 S. Hudson and is open Tuesdays 12:30pm-7:30pm offering programs, workshops, discussions, and dinner each week.