Wednesday 7 May 2014

Media Experts-Joey Elias Comedy gala raises almost $46,000 for On Our Own

On Our Own is one of those lower profile non-profit organizations you don't hear a lot about, yet its mission to provide critical support services and affordable transitional housing for young parents wishing to develop the skills they need to live independently in the community is an important one. I became aware of their good work a few years ago via the English Montreal School Board as many of their clients - parents and students - attend our schools and adult education centres.

Thanks to Mark Sherman, Ian MacLean and the team at independent media services agency Media Experts and comic extraordinaire Joey Elias, On Our Own has found a vehicle which helps raise about 40 percent of their operating cost in one evening. The third annual Joey Elias and Friends Evening of Comedy raised $45,975 at the Club Soda. Single tickets were sold in lieu of donations made online to the Canadian charitable organization, GIVGroups. Folks only had to show their tax receipt for a minimum of $40 to get into the room. The organizers recruited a number of corporate sponsors and CBC donated two tickets to the fourth game of the Montreal Canadiens-Boston Bruins series for a raffle, which turned out to be very successful as well.

Elias put together the comedy lineup, each of whom worked for free. Lenny Lighter of Moishe's Steakhouse did step in and provide gift certificates to the performers. Elias was presented with a gift by Sherman that he said nobody would want - a Bruins shirt with the number 33 and  the name "Chara" on the back.

Ian MacLean, Jay Farrar, Joey Elias, Chantal Desjardins and David Pryde backstage after the show.

Besides Elias, who closed out the show with his usual spectacular program, the crowd was treated to routines by the dazzling Chantal Desjardins, David Pryde, Jeff Shouela and  newcomer Chris Venditto. The latter, only 23 years of age, is  a name we should watch out for. Jay Farrar, the brother of Andrew "Annakin Slayd" Farrar, did a standout job as emcee. 

Congrats to all involved in this terrific initiative!

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