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Sawicki, other dignitaries to test comedic talents at fundraiser

By Staff | May 12, 2015

Cape Coral’s mayor will showcase her comedic talents in a new and unique fundraiser.

Mayor Marni Sawicki, along with seven other local celebrities, will participate in the first-ever Laughter Is the Best Medicine Comedy Night. Hosted by SalusCare, the event will be held July 25 from 7-10 p.m., at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in Fort Myers. Tickets are now on sale.

Nationally recognized comedian Michael Palascak will also take to the stage.

Todd Cordisco, a spokesman for SalusCare, explained that the eight amateur comedians will each perform a 5-minute stand-up routine. Attendees will then vote for “Lee County’s Best Comic” by donating dollars. The proceeds, including ticket sales and sponsorships, will go toward SalusCare.

“The comedian that raises the most money will be declared the winner,” he said.

Cordisco explained that a committee came up with the idea for the inaugural fundraiser.

“It’s not something that’s been done before in this area,” Cordisco said.

“I don’t think you’re going to find anyone else doing this,” he said.

Along with Sawicki, the lineup ranges from Lee County Tax Collector Larry Hart and 20th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Steve Russell, to Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott and others.

“They’re very excited,” Cordisco said. “We think we can pull this off with some really great talent.”

“We’ve already got a list started for next year’s event,” he added.

All of the performers will undergo training with Sam Walch, a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University. He is a former, touring stand-up comedian who teaches comedy and public speaking.

“He will be leading them through how much training they feel the want,” Cordisco said.

Tickets are $100 each or $500 for a reserved table for four with table signage.

Heavy hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine are included in the price.

Cordisco noted that there are about 215 seats total, but only 105 tickets will be sold.

“If people want tickets, my suggestion is to get them quickly,” he said.

Asked if SalusCare has a monetary goal for the fundraiser, Cordisco declined to answer.

“The goal is to raise funds and raise awareness,” he said.

SalusCare is the region’s largest provider of mental health and substance abuse treatment. With seven locations in Lee County, it offers acute care, residential treatment, emergency services and more.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will specifically benefit children’s services.

“To help those families who may have children in need of those services,” Cordisco said, citing the underinsured and uninsured families. “We don’t think anyone should go without treatment.”

The public is encouraged to pick up tickets.

“We all like to laugh, and I think these folks will be a treat,” he said.

To purchase tickets, and for more information, visit: www.saluscarecomedynight.org.

The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is at 2301 First St. in Fort Myers.