Funny Fundraiser: Let Loose at GR’s LaughFest

Julie Bitely

| 3 min read

When making the case for why you should attend the upcoming LaughFest celebration set to take over West Michigan from March 8 – 18, we turned to literary luminaries.
“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” – Mark Twain
“A good laugh heals a lot of hurts.” – Madeleine L’Engle
“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” – Lord Byron
If the authors of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Wrinkle in Time, and epic poem Don Juan, respectively, don’t make you want to do everything within your power to laugh long and loud at LaughFest, perhaps the cause that the 10-day fest benefits will.
All proceeds benefit programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, “a free community with a comprehensive program of education, structured sharing times, networking, lectures, workshops, and social activities designed to support emotional health.” Read more about that here.
Launched in 2011 to celebrate laughter for the health of it, the festival features stand-up, improv, comedy showcases and a variety of other fun stuff for the entire family to participate in.
We’re particularly excited about the following events, which combine laughter with a focus on physical activity or emotional health:
  • At the Pajama Jam, adults are invited to channel younger versions of themselves by donning their favorite pj’s and playing oversized games, testing skills on obstacle courses and dancing to tunes served up by DJ’s at the J.W. Marriott. This is an event for “kids” 21 and older and is sure to be a great time.
  • Break out your favorite undies for the FUNderwear Run. Layer your granny panties over your running clothes, please, and get ready to run or walk a short, 1K course. Price includes an official race t-shirt, finisher medal and drink ticket, which can be redeemed for a New Holland Brewing Company – The Knickerbocker brew. Prizes awarded for best underwear, best couple and more.
  • The Seriously Funny Family Adventure Challengeis a seriously fun time. Teams of two or four people race through downtown Grand Rapids participating in wacky challenges at various landmarks. Awards are presented to the top three finishing teams in three different categories – teams with at least one member under the age of 16, teams with all members over the age of 17, and the group with the best team spirit. Start planning your costumes today and sign up for an afternoon of fun, presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network. Check out this video from a past challenge:
In addition to stand-up comedy and events that promote laughter and physical activity, LaughFest has an entire LaughteRx series with free discussions and events that focus on the ways laughter can be healing for various populations.
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Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan

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