Sold-out comedy night to benefit Friends Together | News, Sports, Jobs


ALPENA — Tonight is Friday Night with Friends’ 19th Annual Comedy Night, a sold-out event to benefit Friends Together cancer support center in Alpena.

Organizers say tickets sold out a few weeks ago, and they are expecting 320 people at the event, which features a Dueling Pianos comedy act, at the Alpena Knights of Columbus Hall.

“The musicians are the comedians,” said Lesslee Dort, program director and patient navigator for Friends Together. “And boy can they get the crowd going.”

The group books the entertainment through Rusch Entertainment, a Michigan talent agency.

“They have done well in selecting the perfect performers for our venue,” Dort said. “It is a full night of laughter and music among friends.”

The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Alcohol will be served, and guests must be 21 to enter.

“Comedy Night began 19 years ago as a way for our friends to get out and have some fun while raising money for Friends Together,” Dort said, adding that the group has booked different entertainment through the years, but “Dueling Pianos is certainly our most popular and well-received.”

Dort said this has been a very popular and entertaining fundraiser over the years, and they usually sell out of tickets prior to the event.

Laughter is a huge part of reducing stress and taking care of oneself, so this is the perfect opportunity for those seeking support to relax and enjoy a night out.

“Laughter can reduce stress and anxiety,” Dort said. “…We all know how refreshed we feel after laughing. We feel connected. It is almost as though we can feel goodness pumping through our bodies. While that is anecdotal, studies have shown that laughter releases endorphins, which reduce our perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. Laughter can be an important part of one’s holistic health. Here at Friends Together we take advantage of laughter whenever it presents itself.”

She explained that these fundraisers are crucial to allow Friends Together to continue to offer essential support programs to those with cancer, or who are close to someone who has or has had cancer.

“The need for support for those experiencing cancer is only growing,” Dort said. “We host many fundraisers throughout the year. While this one greatly helps us help others, they all do.”

She also noted that the community has been very generous in helping Friends Together be successful.

“As a matter of fact, our fundraising is only part of our financial story,” Dort added. “Our community and business donations and sponsorships run as high if not higher than our fundraising. Neighbors helping neighbors, in a big way. We make a difference every day because the dollars from our donors, sponsors, guests, allow us to help others.”

Contact Friends Together at 989-356-3231 or visit

Masquerade Ball

Feb. 23

The next entertaining fundraiser is the 2019 Hope Together Masquerade Ball, from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1880 W. Hamilton Road, Alpena.

This event will benefit both Friends Together and Hope Shores Alliance of Alpena. Tickets are $25 per person for the Hope Together Masquerade Ball.

For more information about Hope Shores Alliance, call 989-356-2560.

Darby Hinkley can be reached via email at, or by phone at 989-358-5691.

(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2019-02-01 06:05:45
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