13th Annual “Funny 4 A Reason” Raises Awareness for Child Abuse Prevention Month at Ontario Improv
The Children’s Foundation of America raised nearly $4,000 for children affected by abuse, neglect and abandonment at this year’s “Funny 4 A Reason” comedy fundraiser at the world-famous Ontario Improv on April 2.
Thank you to the Ontario Improv for once again hosting the event and to the comics for donating their time and talents to this important cause! Approximately 200 people came together to support and raise awareness for Child Abuse Prevention Month, which takes place nationally each April.
Comics and guests wore blue and were provided with Child Abuse Prevention Month clappers and stickers to participate in the movement. For the first time at our show, the audience was also given the opportunity to engage in a raffle! The Ontario Improv provided the opportunity to win tickets to the upcoming Arsenio Hall show. There was also an opportunity to win a Starbucks gift card, a Buca di Beppo gift basket and more. Additionally, Rainforest Café provided coupons for all our guests!
“It’s for the Children!”
This year’s event headlined Michael “Batman” Rhodes (Last Comic Standing) and also featured Vince Royale (Attack of the Killer Donuts), Ro DelleGrazie (Tru TV), Laniea Dominguez (Comedy For Causes), and Anthony Stone (I’m In Love With The Tacos viral video).
Our Donor Relations & Community Outreach Coordinator, Amber Thorneycroft, has been a stand-up comic for several years and made her debut as this year’s host to rave reviews! One attendee said they “enjoyed the comedians and Amber as the host.” Another said they enjoyed “the variety of comics” that our host brought to the show.
CFA Executive Director, Cher Ofstedahl, who has previously hosted the show, got the opportunity to present a whole stand-up set at this year’s event and was an audience favorite! In addition to her role at the Children’s Foundation, Cher is the Chief Operating Officer for Trinity Youth Services foster agency and has also worked in the music industry and as a professional actress.
Everyone on our team got the opportunity to shine. Development Specialist, Jenelle Phillips, sold raffle tickets during the show and Communications & Volunteer Specialist, Marie Maghuyop, “felt like a bridesmaid” supporting Amber on stage with awarding raffle prizes.
Supporting Victims of Child Abuse
Nearly 700,000 children are the victims of abuse annually in the United States. The purpose of CFA’s “Funny 4 A Reason” is to bring hope and support to trauma-affected children. Proceeds from ticket purchases, raffle tickets and other donations directly benefit foster youth in San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties.
“What we’re trying to do is give these children something to smile about, and you can do your part by buying those tickets,” said headliner Michael Rhodes.
Laniea Dominguez, who was our show opener said, “We’re here to help foster youth. They always end up getting the short end of the stick, so we’re here to make that stick longer. We’re just going to do great things for this cause.”
Be the Difference
The Children’s Foundation of America has already provided over $4,000 in support to children in need this year, with opportunities like sports uniforms/equipment, prom tickets, grad night tickets, yearbooks, GED fees, music lessons, books, birthday gifts and more.
There’s still so much more to do! Get involved and support a child in foster care by donating. Consider becoming a sustaining, monthly donor to provide funds to help a youth participate in the same activities as their non-fostered peers. Just $10 a month provides a child with a birthday gift and the opportunity to participate in an extracurricular activity. Please donate today.
Photos by Jenelle Phillips and Jose Rojas
Funny 4 A Reason at Ontario Improv Stirs Laughter for A Good Cause
The twelfth annual “Funny 4 A Reason” comedy benefit show featured some of today’s top comics at the famous Ontario Improv on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.
Our host, Cher, began the evening introducing some new faces including Jessica Porter and Lindsey then welcomed southern California favorite, Jason Helfgott, to the stage. “Any questions?”
Gayla Johnson followed, sharing hilarious stories about her former career being a children’s party clown. Gayla has been seen on Showtime: Fierce, Funny Women, Brothers and Sisters, Beverly Hills 90210, The Practice. She is a comedian, actress, producer and casting director: “Gay LA, that’s how you spell my name…”
Next up was Bruce Jingles, a fixture in the southern California comedy scene and seen on USO tours, ABC, VH1, NUVOTV, Showtime specials, “Driving Bill Crazy,” TMZ and has his own comedy album on iTunes, Pandora and Spotify: “Bruce Jingles: Comic” by RBC Records. Bruce brought the audience to tears of laughter with his impression of his mom getting on his case about getting his own place: “Is signing autographs supposed to impress me? How about signing a lease?”
Jonny Loquasto, seen on Comics Unleashed, Gotham Comedy and Standup & Deliver, headlined the show. He is a comedian, author, physical therapist, sportscaster and “recovering Pennsylvanian.”
“I feel like we often make the mistake of assuming that if someone has an education that means they’re intelligent, which I don’t think they necessarily go hand-in-hand. It’s true! I have a master’s degree, I’m a goddammed moron,” he joked.
The evening of love and laughter raised funds for children in foster care, residential therapeutic programs and mental health services. This support allows children affected by abuse, neglect or abandonment to heal, learn and thrive from the trauma in their lives.
Thank you to all our guests for contributing to the cause and a big thank you to our hilarious comedians who generously donated their time to entertain us! Thank you also to Ontario Improv for their hospitality in hosting our event.
Jenelle Phillips, Development Specialist
Jenelle oversees the day-to-day operations and staffing of the Foundation, which includes fundraising events, volunteer coordination, community outreach and donations. Above all, Jenelle’s focus is to identify and access resources in order to help children heal, learn and thrive. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University Fullerton and has become very involved in the community. She is active in her church, owns an art gallery, organizes the local art walk and is on the executive board of the downtown district’s marketing group.
“Funny 4 A Reason” 2016 Raises Holiday Funds for Children
The Children’s Foundation of America hosted the 11th annual “Funny 4 A Reason” at the Ontario Improv earlier this month with headliner Debi Gutierrez.
On Tuesday, November 1, several comedians donated their time to raise funds to benefit children supported by the Children’s Foundation of America. One hundred percent of the event proceeds directly supported foster children at Trinity Youth Services. Youth have been placed in these programs as a result of trauma in their lives including abuse, neglect or abandonment. Trinity Youth Services offers a chance to create a better future for children and families.
Through fundraising events like “Funny 4 A Reason,” the Children’s Foundation of America provides an opportunity for every person to help children heal, learn and thrive. Over 225 guests were in attendance and approximately $4,510 was raised to be used for the Foundation’s holiday efforts for children in out-of-home care.
The Children’s Foundation of America provided 1,200 holiday gifts for children in foster care last year and hopes to at least match that same number again this holiday season. The “Holiday Heroes” campaign continues with gift wrapping at the Plaza West Covina mall, where nearly 160 volunteers wrap shoppers’ holiday gifts for donations to the cause.
To volunteer, contact Aaron at email@example.com or 909.426.0773.
Thanks for attending and making a difference!