We've come so far!
We started putting on events with an element of humor in April 2011. Below is a list of our past events and approximately how much we netted at the event in reverse chronological order. We hope to soon have pictures and perhaps some video of past events elsewhere on our site soon. Our total amount raised thus far is $875,000!! (Includes non-event related donations.)
Sept. 2016 Charitybuzz - $36,000
A curator's tour of the Rock Hall, Lunch with the director of Big Bang Theory, and a set visit to Curb Your Enthusiasm were some of the big winners in another successful auction.
Aug 2016 - Kurt Elling/Moody McCarthy - $105,000
It was another sensational show at the Ohio Theater at Playhouse Square. Over 600 attended the concert with the Grammy winning jazz star Kurt Elling and the tear inducing (in a good way) comedian Moody McCarthy. Our daughter Jana spoke of the importance of humor and optimism amidst the struggle of Parkinson's from the viewpoint of a first year medical school student.
June 2016 - Tour De Fox - $20,000
SWL sponsored a team and helped the Michael J. Fox Foundation organize the first of what is hoped to be annual bike ride.
Nov. 2014 - CLEVELAND WRITES! - $1,500
SHAKING WITH LAUGHTER WAS THE BENEFICIARY OF 10% OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THE FASCINATING EVENING AT THE HANNA THEATER AT PLAYHOUSE SQUARE.
The Cleveland Comedy Festival presented a panel of TV comedy writers, talking about their craft and coming to Hollywood from Cleveland with some funny tales from the trenches. Marc Jaffe, Steve Skrovan and Lisa Debenedictis were the participating writers and Mike McIntyre from the Plain Dealer and WCPN moderated. It was a fun evening and we were thrilled to have been chosen to be recipients of a portion of the ticket sales.
Sept. 2014 - Charitybuzz Auction - $21,500
Sept. 2014 - Brian Regan Show - $170,000
Final figures aren't yet in, but we do know this, everyone had a spectacular time and laughed like crazy at the our biggest show yet. Over 2200 people filled the Palace Theatre at Playhouse Square on Saturday Sept. 27th. After Marc & Karen opened with a little schtick and did the "Thank yous" their daughter Sarah gave a moving talk about her experience finding out that her mother had Parkinson's. A short video followed and then it was time for comedy. Kermet Apio got everyone going with material that meshed perfectly with the crowd and then Brian Regan brought it all home, doing over an hour of clean, hysterical material followed by a standing ovation and encore.
We have received raves, not only about the show and Sarah, but the food the VIPs were served at the pre-show party.
It was a big step up to the Palace and we're proud to say we fit right in.
May 2014 - Prelude to a Cure - $20,000
15 members of the Cleveland Orchestra performed a chamber music concert on our behalf at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights. Nearly 300 people came to see these world class musicians play works of Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel and even a world premiere of composer Jeffery Rathbun, in the beautifully renovated and accoustically perfect church.
VIPs enjoyed a pre-concert dinner buffet by Doug Katz with desserts donated by Luna bakery and wine donated by Kendall-Jackson and fresh beer from the Bottlehouse Brewery.
Set changes were enlivened by Marc Jaffe telling jokes and Karen presented a $10,000 check to University Hospitals Neurologic Institute on behalf of Allan Goldberg's successful Painting With Parkinson's exhibit. Another $30,000 went to the MJFF from that event.
Great music, laughs, good food and all for a great cause. Just your typical Shaking With Laughter event.
See you at the next one.
January 2014 - Dinner in the Dark - $2,500
Six local Cleveland chefs came together for a very fun night of food and drink and fabulous ambiance.
Rockefellers hosted the first Dinner in the Dark of 2014. Shaking With Laughter was the recipient of the funds raised from ticket sales, a 50/50 raffle, silent auction items and “Wine in the Dark” surprise packages.
For this particular event, all six of the chefs were women. Each dish was artfully presented and absolutely delicious. A wine pairing topped off each of the six courses. The participating chefs were:
Anna Harouvis * Anna in The Raw
Kimberly McCune * Hungry Bee
Rebecca Traxler * Spice
Karen Small * Flying Fig
Jill Vedaa * Rockefellers
Britt Culey * Coquette Patisserie
This event, the brainstorm of Brian Okin and Jeff Jarrett, brings together Cleveland chefs and food lovers to share their passion and compassion. Once a month they host this 6 course dinner by 6 local chefs. The menu for the evening is not revealed until the guests arrive, thereby keeping them “in the dark”. The ticket proceeds benefit a local charity chosen by the participating chefs. To find out more about upcoming Dinner in the Dark events go to www.dinnerinthedarkcleveland.com
September 2013 - A Funny Fundraiser for Parkinson's - $130,000
John Pizzarelli was back, and this time he brought his Dad - the legendary Bucky Pizzarelli. It was amazing to see father and son on stage together and watch their virtuosity on their instrument and their showmanship. The combination of music, John's funny stories and Bucky's just being so darn cute, had everyone enthralled. Wendy Liebman was the perfect complement, with her hysterical throwaway lines and instant rapport it was like she was talking to 650 friends. Incredible journalist Dave Iverson gave a moving talk on remaining hopeful in the face of Parkinson's.
September 2013 Charitybuzz auction - $34,000
Our big ticket item this time was a walk-on part in the upcoming Annie remake staring Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz which went for $16,000
And here are just two of the nice things people said about our latest event:
I want to congratulate you and Karen for producing a fantastic fundraising event. I know how much hard work and dedication went into creating such a successful evening … and you should both be very proud of the great job you did. Those of us that attended and care about this important cause appreciate your leadership and commitment to make a difference and find a cure for Parkinson's. I hope that together … in the near future … we can all celebrate a cure for this disease!!!!!
Congratulations!!! Great Job!!!! - Shelley
September 2012 - A Funny Fundraiser for Parkinson's - $115,000
Keb 'Mo, blues guitarist extraordinaire played and sang what 900 people in the audience at the Ohio Theatre asked for. Literally! He scrapped his set list and took all requests for an hour and a half in a love fest between him and the audience. They were in a great mood having had Jake Johannsen get them loose with laughter as only a guy who has been on Letterman over 50 times could. Karen Jaffe gave a poignant power point highlighting the many people she now knows with PD.
September 2012 - Charitybuzz auction - $24,000.
Our big winner this time paid $10,000 to have lunch on the set of Big Bang Theory with director Mark Cendrowski and a meet and greet with Jerry Seinfeld after seeing one of his shows went for $5,000
September 2011 - A Funny Fundraiser for Parkinson's - $84,000
The John Pizzarelli Quartet had 500 people tapping and snapping and Dave Coulier and Wayne Cotter had the audience cracking up as we filled the Breen Center at St. Ignatius High School. Dr. David Riley spoke of the importance of Michael J. Fox and the Fox Foundation for neurologists.
September 2011 - Charitybuzz Auction - $55,000
Our first online auction was highlighted by the chance to have a 20 minute pitch meeting with Larry David. The winner bid $17,500. Other highlights included auditioning for Children's Hospital and a one month internship for the Browns that both went for $5,000.
April 2011 - Side Effects May Include - $22,000
After an introduction by Cleveland Clinic neurologist Hubert Fernandez, 300 people were captivated by a one-man play written by Marc Jaffe and Eric Coble that takes a humorous and touching look at the wild side-effects of Parkinson's drugs on the marriage and sex life of a comedian and his wife after she is diagnosed with the disease. The play opened here and continues to run at theaters around the country and has contributed another $3,000 as 10% of sales wherever it plays goes to Shaking With Laughter.