The Women’s Center for Greater Lansing hosted a fundraiser called We Laugh Comedy Show, which featured seven volunteer comics, a dinner that was included with the entry fee and a silent auction.
The show took place at UrbanBeat in Old Town Lansing on Saturday, Feb. 25. The proceeds from the event went directly into the programs that the Women’s Center offers, which include help with financial independence, resume assistance, interview preparation and counseling.
Women’s Center Executive Director Rebecca Kasen has worked at the center for roughly four months. She said she was both nervous and excited about the event, since it was the first one that she has run. For her, working at the Women’s Center has always been about female empowerment and supporting women that need assistance.
“We are really trying to … meet the needs where the other systems are falling short," she said.
Pat Sievert, who has been a comic for 11 years, was the host of the event. He performs largely in the Midwest but has traveled as far as Alaska and California to act.
Sievert helped seek out the comics for the event, and said he tried to recruit people he thought would see the benefit of helping the center. For him, the night was about the audience and making sure they enjoyed the show.
“I hope everybody has a good time … laugh and forget about their troubles at the bare minimum,” Sievert said. “I booked a lot of friends on this show, so it’d be nice for them to have an attentive crowd, hear some new people and hear their jokes.”
Amber Maeda has been a comic for six years. She started in Cleveland, Ohio but recently moved to Michigan. She performed for the center for the first time Saturday.
Maeda said loves the independence of being a comic anshed the “grind and hustle” that comes with the profession.
“It’s nice to be able to use my talents or be able to contribute in the way that I’m able to,” Maeda said.
Jacqui Marpa — another Women’s Center first-timer — has been a comic for 10 years and travels across Michigan to perform. She also runs a weekly open mic, but prefers being on stage telling the jokes herself, she said.
Marpa said Lansing is extremely energetic and vibrant when it comes to the nightlife.
“I’m really impressed with our city,” Marpa said. “I want to encourage people to come out and check out (Lansing) for the cool stuff that we offer because there are so many talented people here.”
In the end, Kasen was impressed with the number of people that showed up in support of the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing. She believes that the center supports women in ways that are needed in the Lansing community, and the help that the people who came to the event will greatly benefit the center and the programs they provide.
“I think it’s great to be able to get this many people in one room who all care about the center and all care about empowering the lives of women in the Lansing area,” Kasen said.
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