Studio 67 Medford will bring laughter to the neighborhood on Wednesday, May 25 during a comedy night fundraiser whose proceeds will benefit the Compassionate Friends Therapeutic Riding Center (CFTRC).
The studio has been open since last and is co-owned by the past president of the Medford Arts Center, Jeff Lucas. It offers opportunities to learn and create through instructed classes and has a performance space that residents or performers can rent out for theater, comedy, dance and music shows.
The fundraiser is organized by the night’s host, Jason Pollock of Impractical Jokers and Vince Dispenza, poetry co-chair at the arts center.
“I was honored to be asked to put together a fundraiser for this cause,” Pollock said. “Any time you can contribute to making the world a better place.”
Riding center founder Sherri Briggs is also its president and program director. Dispenza has been a volunteer there since 2013 and is a member of the board of directors. The nonprofit relies on donations, fundraisers and scholarships so the equestrian program can provide horseback riding lessons as therapy in the local community. This year will mark the organization’s 15th fundraiser and the first with Studio 67 Medford.
Therapeutic riding (equine assisted therapy) provides structured horsemanship programs that assist students in meeting their goals and developing independent skills such as increased strength, coordination, sensory integration, improved hand and eye coordination and expansion of focus and control.
“It’s a wonderful program,” Dispenza said, noting the center’s all-volunteer staff.
Performances at the comedy night will feature Joe Pontillo, of AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live, MTV, Sirius XM and the Amazon special “Delete Your Account.” The headliner will be Sharon Simon, who has performed on “Saturday Night Live” and “The Wendy Williams Show.”
“We all need a good laugh with the way the world is right now,” said Pollock. “When you’re on stage and can get a room full of people to laugh so hard their face hurts, it’s exhilarating.
“Knowing that you can help people temporarily forget their problems and the issues of the world and simply [make them] laugh makes it all worth it.”
Doors for the comedy event open at 7 p.m and there will be a 50/50 raffle and a gift basket raffle. For more information, visit studio67medford.com