Home is typically the place that still brings out a smile in all of us in the darkest of times.
“As we started planning this year’s Laughs 4 Life event this idea of celebrating home became an idea we wanted to embrace,” said Kent Oliver, who oversees the Hatttiesburg event.
“Through two years we’ve been able to impact our community in a very meaningful way. With more than $80K of our total fundraising efforts contributed to initiatives right here in Hattiesburg, we’ve been able to provide financial support for the launch of the Patient Navigation Program within the Forrest General Cancer Center, funded Palliative Care seminars for providers within FGH, and provided the financial resources needed to purchase new equipment within the Radiation Oncology department that allows for more comfort and precision in treating breast cancer. This year we’ll be contributing another $25,000 to support cancer research being conducted right here in the Pine Belt.”
Oliver says Mississippi is a unique place and “we are personally grateful to call it home. This made the selection of Tig Notaro as our headlining comedian all the more appropriate.”
Having grown up in Pass Christian, Notaro takes great pride in calling Mississippi home. It’s a place she returns to often as she still has family that resides along the Gulf Coast, a backdrop that played a significant role in her hit Amazon series titled “One Mississippi.”
One of the things that makes Laughs 4 Life unique is its ability to bring the community together in a really distinct way. “With that in mind we wanted to amplify this sense of community even more so this year,” Oliver said.
For the first time Laughs 4 Life will be hosting a HAPPY Hour Block Party on Forrest Street just outside the Saenger from 5-7:30pm the night of the event, Aug. 1. The block party is open to everyone, with or without tickets to the show, and will feature live entertainment from Hattiesburg’s own Madewood Street Music along with street games such as cornhole and giant beer pong.
“The scene in Downtown Hattiesburg will be a tremendous representation of what our home in Hattiesburg is all about… a community where we can all laugh, smile, and support one another,” Oliver said.
He notes that beneficiaries for Laughs 4 Life are all selectively chosen because they have an impact on diseases that have hit close to home for several in the community. In two years, proceeds from Laughs 4 Life have fully funded more than $140,000 worth of research grants though the International Myeloma Foundation to fight myeloma.
“We have also covered the cost of tumor sequencing for 12 children who have experienced relapse in their cancer battles through our partnership with CURE Childhood Cancer,” he said. “We will continue to support these organizations this year and are pleased to add another to the mix.”
This year Laughs 4 Life will be partnering with the Mayo Clinic on research specific to metastatic breast cancer, which impacts nearly 22,000 women each year.
Tickets are on sale at laughs4life.com and through the Saenger box office. Reserved tickets will be available ranging from $35 (upper balcony), $45 (lower balcony), $55 (orchestra).