Rotary hosts 12th annual comedy night

Fundraiser will help with the expansion of local food pantry

The Williamstown Sunrise Rotary Club will host its 12th annual Comedy Night on Friday, June 18, at The Estates at Monroe.

The Rotary has hosted the event for 12 years to bring in comedy talent, food and door prizes. Last year, the event took place before the start of pandemic restrictions in February. This year, itt was pushed to June.

“Because of COVID, we were afraid we weren’t going to be able to get it together this year,” said Rotary president and comedy night Chairman Don Kensey. “But we are able to make it happen and are obeying all the COVID rules, keeping everyone safe and distant and minimizing the audience crowd.” 

The show will welcome headliner Buddy Fitzpatrick, who has become a regular on Comedy Central and has made appearances on A&E and ABC. The show will also feature comedians Michelle Tomko, Brendan Donegan and Vince Valentine.

“We have used the producer Vince Valentine for the last eight years and he has brought phenomenal talent every year,” said Kensey. “It is never the same people … We don’t do raunchy, we don’t gross people out. It is really family-themed,  where we keep it clean and don’t go crazy.” 

The Rotary hopes to raise money for the long term goal of expanding its food pantry. Every year, the group sets aside at least 25 percent of its budget to help with that effort, and this year the Rotary is seeking a larger building in Williamstown to use for pantry expansion. That project is in its infancy, and the club is working with Williamstown Mayor Richard DiLucia and local officials to find a suitable site. 

“The pantry we have right now is an improvement of what we have, but not big enough for what we need,” Kensey explained. “We are looking for a location that the township owns; we will renovate it and donate it back to the township.”

The Rotary’s first in person event this year was its annual golf outing in Woodstown on May 19. Over 70 golfers participated, more than the usual 50.

Upcoming events include Designer Bag Bingo and a Murder Mystery Dinner theatre. 

“It is completely volunteer and none of the money raised is given to administrative fees; everything we bring in is donated,” Kensey noted. “Our focus is on giving back to the community and helping where help is needed.”

Tickets are $380 for a full table of eight guests or $55 for individual tickets and  can be purchased through https://williamstown-sunrise-rotary.square.site/product/comedey-night/45?cp=true&sa=true&sbp=false&q=false&fbclid=IwAR0A_5OzDnUAEMwEnukaQbV8w2OUwhFK1az7aFJG5r77KoBx-Rn9-d222Mg.

Tickets are limited to about 300 people and are first-come first-served.