GILFORD — The Gilford Youth Center raised $10,000 during the recent GYC Comedy Night fundraiser, with nearly 175 people attending the event.
Guests mingled while the music of Paul Luff drifted through the Youth Center during the cocktail hour. Samuel Comroe, a Los Angeles-based comedian, then took the stage, making jokes about his life with Tourettes and the “creepy” small-town vibe of Gilford, before taking questions from the audience.
“Our whole table was in stitches when he was making fun of our town,” said Tracy Baron, who purchased a table for the event. “It was all in good fun, and he was hilarious.”
After a short intermission, magician and comedian Michael Kent wowed the crowd with his serendipitous magic that had everyone cracking up.
“It was a true comedy show, in my opinion,” said an enthusiastic Maria Suarez of the Gilford Public Library. “It was a true night out in our small town. That was a triumph for the Youth Center.”
The Comedy Night Fundraiser is the center’s biggest to date, based on net money raised. Director Scott Hodsdon said he was pleased not only with the amount raised, but the way the community came together to support the event.
“There’s a lot of hands that go into making this event so successful. First the planning by a volunteer committee, then the sponsors stepping up, taking a chance on a first-time event. The community saying, ‘Yes, we will support this,’ and purchasing tickets, and finally, the volunteers who helped execute everything. Our community truly came together to make this event a success.” Hodsdon organized volunteers from Gilford High School to serve food from the pub-style menu, prepared by Gilford Community Church volunteers. Local licensed bartenders Mary Morin and Emma Reed donated their time to serve beer, wine and cocktails.
In the planning phase of the event, Hodsdon teamed up with volunteer Nicole Hogan of Creative Marketing Guru in Gilford. They worked diligently over four months, booking the comedians, creating the event logo, materials, and promotion plan, securing sponsors, and planning logistics. Hodsdon built the stage himself.
Cantin Chevrolet committed as the headline sponsor, while Advanced Orthopaedic Specialists of Gilford and Winnisquam Dental of Tilton were the two gold sponsors. The media sponsor for the event was the Laconia Daily Sun, an integral part of the promotion plan.
“The comics were pros, they were great, and it was an all-around awesome night, one that we were proud to sponsor,” said Jeremy Hogan of Advanced Orthopaedic Specialists. “The community support was impressive.”