Fullertonians love to party; they love to laugh; and they love to give to the community. All of this occurred simultaneously at Fullerton Cares‘ 4th Annual Comedy Show for Autism at the historic Fox Theatre, which raised a very generous combined amount in ticket sales and sponsorships.
We’re thrilled to be back at the Fox for a second year. Moving to this larger venue helped us grow the event substantially in 2013. Not only were we able to raise a considerable amount of money, but also benefit the Fox Theatre. It was a win-win. – Larry Houser, Fullerton Cares founder
As with any large production, there were a few small snags along the way. For one reason or another a future tenant of the Firestone Court could not accommodate the pre-party in their courtyard. Organizers and volunteers had to scramble; moving the reception to the parking area of the Fox and relocating the admission and vendor booths. With some strategic repositioning and a good amount of innovative teamwork, the entire back lot was transformed into a free-flowing, festive block party.
What has now become customary, a Step & Repeat greeted guests for photo opportunities, making everyone feel like red carpet VIPs. The Fullerton Yacht Club set up their mobile DJ station to send revelers into a groovy mood with throwback tunes from the 80s. Bourbon Street, Nieuport 17, Slidebar and Burger Parlor provided the eats, while Heroes, Joe’s and Roscoe’s crew members were on hand to help quench everyone’s thirst. Returning again this year was Found Vintage Rentals who not only beautified the stage, but also softened the harshness of the asphalted area with rustic and plush furnishings of side tables, settees, benches and a variety of props.
The sold out show was comprised of seven comedians, including Josh Meyrowitz and Keith Reza who are on the autism spectrum themselves. Great friend of the Fullerton Cares coalition, George Perez (MTV’s Yo Momma!, Payaso Comedy Slam) reprised his role as emcee of the hilarity brigade. Supporting the headliner Steve Treviño (The Late Late Show, BET Comic View) were popular funny men Tommy Chunn (Gabriel Iglesias’ Stand Up Revolution, Who’s Got Jokes?), Jesus Trejo (Sullivan & Son, Refried Comedy) and Michael Malone (National Lampoon’s Operation Comedy Tour, Detroit International Comedy Festival). The comedy routines progressed from charmingly benign to unabashedly bawdry.
The cherry topper of the night was when Treviño offered four of his DVD specials for sale at $100 a piece. Three of the discs sold in a flash, but the fourth one created a bidding frenzy over two guests. Each of them raised the stake incrementally; emptying their wallets and soliciting donations from friends in the audience to up their ante. The final DVD ultimately sold for $240 with a total of over $500 raised for Fullerton Cares in less than ten minutes.
Treviño then proceeded to invite the outbid Donnie Fillion up onto the stage for a consolation prize surprise. That turned out to be an uproarious mock lap-dance by Jesus Trejo that had the entire theater in stitches. So much laughter was brought forth and all for a great cause.
About Fullerton Cares: Founded by Fullerton local Larry Houser after his son Boyd’s diagnosis in 2009, Fullerton Cares Autism Foundation operates with a mission of “acceptance, awareness, and fundraising” for children with autism. To date, FCAF has raised over $50,000 to support autism initiatives in north Orange County through their many events, which include the annual Comedy Show for Autism, Mardi Gras for Autism, and golf tournament. To learn more, please visit http://www.fullertoncares.com
About Autism: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), autism affects about one in every 68 American children, including one in 42 boys. Autism is a complex condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. To learn more, please visit http://www.autismspeaks.org
Photography by: Brian Feinzimer of Feinzimer Photograpy
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