NORTHAMPTON — After being canceled for two years due to the pandemic, Comedy Cause, an annual comedy fundraiser, is set to return for its fourth year on September 10 at the Academy of Music.
Timothy Lovett, the show’s host and a mixed media expert, said Reminder publication that this year’s money will be used to help the city’s homeless.
“I was homeless, and so all these entities and things around town that helped me get back on my feet…when I got back on my feet, I wanted to give back to them,” Lovett said, speaking about creating this program. Latest events have included a donation to the Northampton Recovery Center and the local food bank.
As someone who now works for ServiceNet Shelter & Housing Services and the Grove Street Inn as a case manager in Northampton, Lovett said he wanted this year’s fundraiser to focus on helping this specific population.
The series of events began in 2017, and past acts have included the Chapelle Show’s Donnell Rawlins and Jessica Kirson, who was featured in the films “The King of Staten Island” and “The Comedian.” The full lineup for this year’s event isn’t ready yet, but according to Lovett, the headliner is Atlanta-based comedian Hank Denson. According to Kim DeShields, comedian and Lovett’s partner in the venture, Denson grew up in Springfield before being based in Atlanta and campaigning for better paid teachers nationwide. Typically, what happens is that Lovett and DeShields will also perform on Comedy Cause night.
“We always have a mix of local talent and big names,” Lovett said. “We make people feel good about helping the cause. It doesn’t feel like a benefit or a fundraiser…it feels like a night out.
Lovett noted that past shows he has hosted have drawn large audiences, which he hopes will be represented again at the September event. “They know we’re very involved in the community and we love helping the community,” Lovett said. “So they support us.”
Both Lovett and DeShields work at an entertainment and promotions company Lovett founded in 2015 called “Comedy as a Weapon.” “Comedy as a Weapon is dedicated to helping and healing people through the power of laughter, expanding our reach to addiction support organizations, breast cancer research, and more,” their statement read. of mission. According to Lovett, previous Comedy Cause shows have raised between $7,000 and $9,000, with the amounts increasing each year.
As part of the preparation process, Lovett announced on Facebook that his team was looking for volunteers to help organize and promote the event. They are looking for more sponsorship from the local community and businesses. People who have information on this can email Lovett at [email protected] According to Lovett, the more help the better since they are currently a small group of three to four people.
“We’re just looking for people to help us, because it’s a lot of getting the word out…there’s a lot of prep work and organization,” Lovett said. “We want to bring about change in one way or another, so we need volunteers to make it happen.”