The Future of Shaking With Laughter



Dear Friend of Shaking With Laughter,

It is with great excitement that I wish to inform you that Shaking With Laughter will be absorbed into the Cleveland Brain Health Initiative and, as of April 1, 2019, will no longer operate as an independent non-profit.

SWL was founded in 2011 because Karen and I wanted to do something to support research for a cure. Our initial goal of putting on one show and raising $20,000 was wildly surpassed. Over the past 8 years we have been able to distribute nearly $1.2 million for Parkinson’s research. The main recipient has been the Michael J. Fox Foundation, with InMotion, University Hospitals and The Parkinson's Foundation among others receiving funds as well.

Our Shaking With Laughter show has become a recognized and anticipated event in the community. There is value in that. Value that we would like to see continue. However, we have reached our limits as a small, all volunteer organization. The demands on our time are great and the extent of our reach limited as we relied on personal contacts alone to bring entertainers who themselves donated their time. It makes sense to find another organization where SWL could be something even better than it is today.

We believe we have found that in the Cleveland Brain Health Initiative (CBHI). Hosted at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, CBHI is a consortium dedicated to advancing research and care that includes the Cleveland Clinic, the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, MetroHealth, and University Hospitals as well as a number of related organizations throughout Northeast Ohio. Each institution has distinct strengths and exceptionally talented individuals. Together, the possibility of meaningful progress in finding new treatments and cures for brain diseases and disorders grows exponentially. With the strength of the consortium, it is clear that they have the capacity to nurture and expand SWL.

We are grateful for all the support we have received since 2011. Your commitment and generosity to the cause astound us. We ask that you continue to show that same support to the CBHI and its work to eradicate Parkinson’s and other brain diseases. Karen and I look forward to seeing you at many future Shaking With Laughter events.

It has been an honor to have helmed this organization for the past 8 years. It has been considerable work, but it has paid off in the gift of many new and deepened friendships. This move continues our mission to find a cure and maintains our belief that, one day, we will be able to say, “We stopped the shaking, with laughter.”


Marc Jaffe

THANK YOU For 8 Amazing years!

Thank you to all of you who came to any of our events over the years, with a special thanks to those of you who were sponsors. 

A big debt of gratitude to all our performers who donated their time and talent to the cause. Those generous performers were:

Musicians - John Pizzarelli and his band, Bucky Pizzarelli, Keb' Mo, Kurt Elling, Dominick Farinacci, Robert Walters and many members of the Cleveland Orchestra

Comedians - Dave Coulier, Wayne Cotter, Jake Johannsen, Wendy Liebman, Brian Regan, Moody McCarthy and Jimmy Dunn

Actors - Nick Koesters, Andrew Pond

We can't forget the many donors who donated valuable items or experiences to our Charitybuzz auctions. These included: Larry David, Mark Cendrowski, Ed Solomon, Dave Coulier, Bob Saget, Susan Goldberg, Les Keller, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Thomas Riley, Dennis Lehman, Greg Harris, Paul Reiser, Penn & Teller, Pete Holmes, Kevin Nealon and many others who said yes when we asked.

This all started as a thought to put on one show and raise maybe $20,000 for Parkinson's research. Because of your enthusiasm and support, the help of many friends and a hard-working board and volunteers, it just kept going. Karen and I are eternally grateful to each of you. We know the path to finding a cure is a long one and we may not see the end line yet, but we have walked many more steps to getting there than we ever expected when we took our first steps. Thank you for taking them with us.



Shaking with Laughter was established as a charitable 501(c)3 in Cleveland, with the mission to fund research for a cure for Parkinson's Disease. To date we have raised over $1,150,000 for Parkinson's research.

Photography provided by Michael Weil, PhD



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