Long Beach Ministers Alliance is hosting its first-ever Laughing Lives Matter benefit comedy show next week, aimed at gleaning a few laughs from Long Beach residents while raising money for causes that include eliminating human trafficking, veteran homelessness and more.
The event is scheduled to take place at 7:00PM on Thursday, August 25 at the Long Beach Terrace Theater. The tax deductible tickets range from $10 to $50.
Former Comic View host and inspirational comedian Lester Barrie will host the show, which will feature Shang, Ron Pearson, Doug Williams, and Gilbert Esquivel. It will also include special guests Ricky Harris, Lamont Bonman and Angel Gainse, and music by DJ Slice.
Proceeds from the show will help the Alliance accelerate its commitment to partnerships and programs that impact human trafficking, veteran homelessness and violence interruption efforts, according to Pastor Gregory Sanders who is a part of the Alliance.
The Alliance is currently partnering with Kingdom Causes and care18.org to help fight human trafficking. Sanders said the Alliance also aims to support community groups that are working effectively to assist homeless veterans.
While the Alliance takes part in peace marches, community rallies and vigils, it also looks to other avenues that can help stimulate awareness and open deeper levels of consciousness, according to Sanders.
“At the end of the day, our areas with the greatest violence need jobs, family restoration, financial and educational literacy,” Sanders said in an email. “Our goal in violence interruption is to create and/or fund projects that stimulate those core areas of need.”
The LBMA decided organize the comedy show as a unique way to fund raise, following research into entertainment like music and laughter and how it promotes good health, Sanders said.
“We decided that a clean comedy project would be our first major effort to bring the community together outside the wall of ‘church,’” said Sanders. “Positive humor or laughter has a way of suppressing the body’s negative or harmful stress hormones while it improves the overall immune system. Laughter helps manage depression, helps with pain management and elevates the mood.”
According to Sanders, the event was organized before the shootings in Baton Rouge, Minnesota and Texas, which the Alliance believed reopened unhealed wounds of mistrust, anger, trauma and anxieties. The group’s Laughing Lives Matter comedy project is part of the Alliance’s way to assist those grieving and promote reconciliation outside of the traditional Sunday church services.
The show is sponsored by Molina Healthcare, the “Why’d You Stop Me” program, Pacific Gateway, and the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. Sanders said the sponsors have also made it possible to provide free access to the event to families who have lost children to violence, members of Mothers of Murdered Children, the Long Beach Rescue Mission, Women North East of the Well, and other groups.
Tickets can be purchased from The Terrace Theater Box Office, Goldstar.com, and Ticketmaster.com.
For more about the Long Beach Ministers Alliance, click here.