GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Nov. 21, 2022 – The nation’s first-ever community-wide festival of laughter, Gilda’s LaughFest, will return to Grand Rapids, Wayland and Lowell March 8-12, 2023. In its 13th year, LaughFest celebrates laughter for the health of it and raises awareness for the cancer and grief emotional health support program offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. Proceeds from the festival benefit Gilda’s Club , which helps ensure no one has to face cancer or grief alone.
“Gilda’s LaughFest is thrilled to bring together the West Michigan community through laughter in March 2023 with festival favorites including stand-up, improv and a variety of seriously funny stuff,” said Festival Manager Zack Berends.
In addition to offering something for everyone in Lowell and at Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, the Clean Comedy Showcase, a LaughFest fan favorite, will return to The B.O.B. and Dr. Grins Comedy Club, which will include both show only and dinner and show options. This year’s festival will feature nationally-known comedians as well as seriously fun and funny events for all ages. Talent and event schedule will begin to be announced in January 2023.
As part of the festival, LaughFest will host the Laughter Rx Symposium on Friday, March 9. The Laughter Rx Symposium is a Gilda’s Club mission element aimed at increasing the emotional health support system in West Michigan through education. The conference has continuing education credit opportunities for health care professionals and social workers and will be available in a hybrid format with in-person and virtual attendance options.
In keeping with tradition, Grand Rapids will once again play host to the Seriously Funny Family Adventure Challenge. Teams will tour the city while following clues and prompts provided at various stops.
“We are excited to continue the tradition of creating a spot of LaughFest sunshine during the grey month of March,” said Wendy Wigger, president of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and Gilda’s LaughFest. “Our return to The B.O.B. and shows in Lowell and at Gun Lake Casino provide opportunities for West Michigan to get out and honor an essential part of emotional health and wellbeing: laughter. It also allows the Gilda’s Club message to be shared more broadly that those facing life’s tough stuff like cancer and grief are not alone. Gilda’s Club is here to help.”
Following the festival on March 16, Gilda’s Club will host its Red Door Gala at a new location, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. The Red Door Gala celebrates the thousands of lives impacted by Gilda’s Club and will provide entertainment that is sure to make individuals laugh. Learn more at gildasclubgr.org.
About Gilda’s Club
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. Its comprehensive program, delivered by mental health professionals, meets individuals where they are, when they need it, with a variety of social and emotional support options to choose from, including support groups, educational opportunities as well as healthy lifestyle and social activities.
Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids runs entirely on charitable donations and currently provides in-person, virtual and hybrid support options through its clubhouses in Grand Rapids and Lowell, Mich., and community programs in various schools and community centers. An affiliate of the Cancer Support Community – the largest professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids is independently owned and locally operated. At Gilda’s Club no one faces cancer or grief alone. For more information, visit gildasclubgr.org.