For Immediate Release

CONTACT: Tyler Lecceadone






GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 13, 2017 – With the festival just one month away, officials from Gilda’s LaughFest today announced events specifically designed to celebrate laughter “For the Health of it.” Seven years ago Gilda’s LaughFest was launched as the first community-wide festival of laughter offering opportunities for individuals to laugh by attending or participating in events such as stand-up, improv and more. One additional important aspect of the festival is the opportunity to learn and participate in activities designed to raise awareness about the importance of laughter and emotional health.


Events announced today include LaughteRx presented by Comfort Research, a series of health discussions focused on the health benefits of health and humor; Samuel Comroe’s partnership performance with DisArt, a stand-up performance that includes a message about living with a disability; the FUNderwear Run, a 5K fun run where individuals are encouraged to wear their best underwear over their running clothes; and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Seriously Funny Family Adventure Challenge, an active scavenger hunt allowing friends and family an opportunity to discover downtown Grand Rapids while engaging in various timed challenges.


This year’s LaughteRx series consists of seven Laughter Yoga drop-in sessions (hosted at Gilda’s Club locations in Grand Rapids and Lowell) and six free presentations/panel discussions about the health benefits of laughter. Discussions at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids featuring local doctors and cancer experts include:

  • Laughter is Good Medicine-MSU Extension Program, March 11th.
  • Laughter and Humor in the Treatment of Pain and Serious Illness, March 14th.
  • The Sexy Chapters of our Lives, March 16th.


Additional discussions regarding health and laughter include:

  • How the funny things in life enhance physical and spiritual vitality, March 14th, Catholic information Center (Grand Rapids).
  • Music and Laughter, Franciscan Life Process Center (Lowell), March 15th.
  • The Real and Funny Side of Living Life with a Disability presented by Disability Advocates, Grand Rapids Art Museum, March 17th.
  • Humor and Health Panel, The BOB, March 18th.


Samuel Comroe’s ticketed partnership performance with DisArt on March 16 focuses on the social inclusion of people with disabilities by reducing the social barriers that might otherwise prevent them from engaging in the community. Comroe, a comedian diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at the age of six, performs stand-up comedy shows about living with the disorder while at the same time just trying to live. Comroe won the San Francisco Comedy Competition and The Ricky Gervais Just Saying Stand-Up Competition.


In addition to learning about health and humor through LaughteRx and Comroe’s stand-up comedy, LaughFest officials encourage the community to get active and participate in LaughFest’s FUNderwear Run on March 12; and the free Seriously Funny Family Adventure Challenge on March 19.  The events are open for registration at The registration price increases for the FUNderwear Run on February 19.


Gilda’s LaughFest was created by a team at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids in 2011. Since inception, LaughFest has averaged 50,000 attendees per year. Proceeds from the festival will go to support the free cancer, grief and emotional health programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.


# # #


Gilda's Club Grand Rapids provides free emotional healthcare to children adults, families and friends on any kind of cancer journey or those grieving the death of someone in their life due to any cause. The comprehensive program, delivered by licensed healthcare 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 in five community centers. For more information, visit