Airdrie residents are encouraged to brighten up the cold and dark winter days, support a great local cause, score a great auction item, and take their mind off the seemingly never-ending COVID-19 pandemic with some virtual fun next month.
The Airdrie and District Hospice Society (ADHS) is hosting its second annual virtual Humour for Hospice fundraising event on Feb. 12, featuring two stand-up comedy performances. Headliner Jean Paul and opening act Laurie Elliott will hit the virtual stage at 7 p.m. for an hour of jokes and laughter.
Elliott is an award-winning stand-up comic, actor, and television writer.
“She's been on the Canadian comedy scene for quite some time,” said Daria Skibington-Roffel, president of the ADHS board. “She is a comedian who does a lot of jokes about being socially awkward and things like that. She talks about things you can relate to – how to behave at parties, what to do at work, or deal with family and things like that.”
Paul is an award-winning comedian born in Trinidad and raised in Ontario. Skibington-Roffel explained he talks a lot about growing up in Ontario and going back to Trinidad.
“He's quite hilarious and we've asked him to tailor the humour so there's a focus that people can relate to. I don't know what they're going to do, but I'm sure they're going to be hilarious,” Skibington-Roffel said.
Both comedians are familiar with the Zoom platform and have been performing to virtual audiences throughout the pandemic. They can do just as good a job of cracking up crowds virtually as they can in front of a live audience, according to Skibington-Roffel.
Those interested in watching the show can purchase tickets online and a link to the Zoom meeting will be shared with them.
Along with a night of laughter for a good cause is a silent auction in support of ADHS. The silent auction is available for bidding from Feb. 1 to 12, after which the winners of the auction items will be announced.
Skibington-Roffel noted that items are still being secured, but organizers are working on tickets from WestJet, weekend getaway packages, gift baskets, gift cards, and so on. All items are donations from businesses and individuals.
“There are some pretty big ticket items there, it will definitely be worth everyone's while,” Skibington-Roffel said.
The goal is to raise $10,000 toward enabling ADHS to continue offering all of its programs at no cost to participants.
Last year’s inaugural Humour for Hospice fundraiser raised just over $8,000, which ADHS staff hope to surpass this year. Last year, 40 people attended the virtual event, but Skibington-Roffel said they can host many more viewers via the online platform.
“People from all over Canada can attend, so if people know somebody or have family anywhere in Canada and think they might need a night of laughs and just want to do something fun together as a family on zoom, they can definitely buy a ticket and participate as well,” she said.
ADHS is a charitable organization dedicated to serving those living with grief and provides compassionate care to those with a life-limiting illness. Services are provided free of charge thanks to donors and supporters, and include programs such as adult, teen, and children’s grief counselling groups.
Skibington-Roffel noted the children’s grief counselling group is something Airdrie has been in need of for a long time. Funds raised will support programs like these and other ADHS initiatives.
For a full listing of programs and services, visit airdriehospice.ca
Tickets to the online comedy show are $35 per person and can be purchased through ADHS’s website at airdriehospice.ca. To bid in the online auction, visit givergy.ca