Boasting comedy legends and local acts, Susan G. Komen’s Laugh for the Cure makes a dent in funding for breast health services and breast cancer research. The evening of family-friendly stand-up comedy has raised more than $1.25 million for Susan G. Komen and local affiliates since 2002, and can experienced in nine cities across the U.S.
The breast cancer fundraiser is the brainchild of Tammy Greyshock who started the event as a local fundraiser in Charlotte, N.C.
Tammy’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1986 when Tammy was 15 years old. Her mom’s diagnosis, and the diagnosis of her aunt, became the catalyst for her commitment to increasing breast health funding and awareness. “In my family, we used laughter and love to stay strong and fight the disease,” says Tammy. “We did that together, but I also knew I had to do more.”
So, she participated in Race for the Cure, raised money for the cause, and quickly became an advocate for people affected by breast cancer.
Tammy saw that donations for breast cancer research and health services dropped each year after Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, so decided to try to help fill the gap in funding. With support from her husband Brian Heffron, the owner of Comedy Zone Worldwide and managing partner at EastCoast Entertainment, she created Laugh for the Cure.
ABOUT THE LAUGH FOR THE CURE EVENT
Laugh for the Cure events are not galas in the typical black-tie sense, but more like an upscale evening out. However, Laugh for the Cure does feature a pre-show VIP reception, silent auction, drinks and snacks, and mission programming. The evening tops off with a hilarious stand-up comedy show.
The Laugh for the Cure Charlotte event is typically held in the McGlohon Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and draws over 600 attendees. Held from 5:30 – 9:30 pm, the highly anticipated event is an excellent networking event. The Pink Tie Guys – an exemplary group of leaders who proudly support Susan G. Komen Charlotte with their passion for community service and engagement – are recognized for their commitment to Komen Charlotte and breast cancer advocacy.
THE 2020 EVENT PIVOTS DUE TO COVID-19
Scheduled for March 19, the 19th annual Laugh for the Cure Charlotte event fell just as businesses were shutting down and talk of Stay-At-Home orders were buzzing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten days from the scheduled event, organizers decided to go virtual with the fundraiser rather than cancel altogether.
The 4-hour event was condensed into a 1-hour live streamed show emceed by Molly Grantham who kicked off the evening by speaking to the mission of Susan G. Komen Charlotte. Comedian Shaun Jones teamed up with Molly providing light-hearted banter throughout live stream. Additional funds were raised through a semi-live auction where the audience could bid on items by commenting in the chat. Lynda from Komen Charlotte manned the online chat and called out info to Molly and, auctioneer, Mr. Perry as bids came in. Dr. Campbell spoke on behalf of the Pink Tie Guys.
The event was a success! The live stream reached 22,000 people with 225 who watched all or most of the show. Although less than in years past, the Laugh for the Cure virtual event raised $138,000 for Susan G. Komen Charlotte.