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Gilda’s LaughFest Seeks Volunteers FOR 2017 Festival


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 18, 2017 – Those interested in volunteering during Gilda’s LaughFest can now sign up at The 10-day festival of laughter will take place March 9 through March 19, 2017. Opportunities to help include event promotion, logistics, ushering, selling merchandise, retail, office support and volunteer staffing needs during all LaughFest ticketed and non-ticketed events.


Leslee Hardebeck, who has volunteered since the first festival in 2011, said she volunteers because of the importance of the cancer and grief support programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.


“I volunteer because I’m passionate about what Gilda's Club offers members on their cancer or grief journey.  I love working with so many wonderful volunteers and I love to laugh, which there is plenty of during Laughfest,” said Hardebeck. “The venues are fun and the artists are even more fun.  It’s gratifying knowing the money raised during Laughfest supports the Gilda's Club programs that are offered at no cost to members.”


New volunteers are expected to attend an orientation meeting, a team training meeting, and the All Volunteer Pre-Festival meeting. Dates for these events will be provided after volunteers are accepted to their respective teams.


Entertainers announced for LaughFest 2017 include: Howie Mandel, Iliza, Sinbad, Joel McHale, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, and Pete Holmes as headlining acts.  Katt Williams, in partnership with Smash Productions, will headline an encore performance on March 26. 


Proceeds from the festival will go to support the free cancer, grief and emotional health programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. LaughFest 2017 will include more than 200 free and ticketed shows featuring over 100 artists at more than 40 venues in Grand Rapids and Lowell during the 10 days of the festival. Festival ticket packages and badges are available online at, or by phone at (616) 735-HAHA (4242). Individual tickets will be available beginning January 27th at the Van Andel Arena & DeVos Place Box Offices or


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About Gilda’s Club

Gilda's Club Grand Rapids is a free emotional health support community of children, adults, families and friends on any kind of cancer journey or those grieving the death due to any cause. Its comprehensive program, delivered by professionals, includes education, structured sharing times, networking, lectures, workshops and social activities. Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids is one of the largest and busiest of the 44 affiliates in North America. The organization runs entirely on charitable donations and currently serves more than 10,000 individuals each year at its clubhouses in Grand Rapids and Lowell, Mich., in various schools and community centers. For more information, visit