Domestic violence is no laughing matter.
But a lighthearted night out on the town can offer a welcome respite from the worries of the day and raise money to help bring awareness and education to the growing issue.
That’s the philosophy behind the Domestic Violence Service Center’s Laugh Out Loud comedy benefit, now in its fifth year.
The event will take place Saturday with dinner at 6:15 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Mohegan Sun Casino in Plains Township. Welcome will be at 6:45 with the show starting at 7:15.
Three comedians who are headliners at the casino’s Wise Crackers Comedy Club will be the featured performers for the night: John Carfi, Brad Lowery and Scott Bruce.
“The more awareness we get, the more we can work to get domestic violence to stop,” Denise Driscoll, special events/marketing coordinator for the center, said.
The Domestic Violence Service Center, which began operations in 1976, runs a 60-bed emergency shelter for battered women and children in Luzerne and Carbon counties. It is the only area center that offers direct supportive services as well as a 24-hour hotline.
“We run support groups, educational services and a life-skills program,” Driscoll said. “We offer bullying programs and teen dating programs so we can address violence issues early on so they don’t become a lifestyle.”
There will be a cash bar and silent auction. A raffle and basket auction also are planned. Emcee is Justin Davis, CEO of Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton.
The event is one of two biggest fundraisers the Domestic Violence Service Center conducts each year. The other is a golf outing May 9 at Blue Bridge Trail Golf Course. Driscoll said at least half the proceeds will go directly to pay for services and programs.
Other fundraisers are conducted throughout the year, including a motorcycle run, car club and a Women Who Rock event.
Scott Bruce of Drums began the Wise Crackers chain of comedy clubs and still performs locally in Las Vegas and is a frequent guest on cruise ships. He also has published three books. Bruce hosted the Emmy Award-winning PBS show “The Pennsylvania Game.”
Brad Lowery averages more than 200 college performances per year and was nominated for Comedian of the Year four times in a row. He has been seen on A&E’s “Caroline’s Comedy Hour,” “Star Search” and twice on NBC’s “Showtime at the Apollo.” He has opened for acts such as Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and Tommy Davidson.
John Carfi began his career as a stand-up comedian at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. He has since performed his act in hotes, casinos, corporate shows, concert halls and resorts.
Carfi recently opened shows for Dennis Miller and Michael Bolton.