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Laughter Really is the Best Medicine

NPFWPA to host annual Comedy Night at Rivers Casino on April 5

Help fight Parkinson’s disease with a good laugh at the National Parkinson Foundation Western Pennsylvania(NPFWPA) third annual Comedy Night fundraiser on Saturday, April 5, at Rivers Casino. Presented in conjunction with Parkinson’s Awareness Month, proceeds from this event will help to expand programs, outreach and awareness within the communities NPFWPA serves.
“Mental health is extremely important for individuals living with Parkinson’s disease (PD),” says NPFWPA Executive Director, Barbara Farrell. “Mood, depression and anxiety can have even more impact than motor impairments commonly associated with the  disease.” NPFWPA hosts its annual Comedy Night not only to raise funds to support its mission but also to demonstrate that laughter can enhance quality of life and help those  with PD to live well.
After watching loved ones become frustrated while they struggled with the disease, local comedian Andy Picarro recognizes how important laughter becomes when you’re dealing with a debilitating disease and the mental health issues that come along with it. Inspired by the television show Seinfeld and his love for being onstage, Picarro is an honest and conversational comic who recently returned to his hometown of Pittsburgh. He is “very much looking forward to the show and knows his fellow comics feel the same way.”
Since the company you keep as a comedian is important, Picarro is excited to share the stage with friends and fellow comedians that are sure to leave the audience in stitches:

  • Though host Ray Zawodni is the youngest of the group, he is a natural performer who is just as funny under the stage lights as he is during a car ride with friends.
  • Named “Best Local Comedian” by Pittsburgh Magazine for the past two years, headlining act Aaron Kleiber made his stand-up national television debut in “Gotham Comedy Live” with host Jim Breuer in July 2013 and remains a fixture in the booming Pittsburgh comedy scene due to regular performances at The Improv.
  • An up-and-coming comic who can work with anyone in any situation, Molly Sharrowdelivers fantastic jokes and healthy dose of sarcasm for crowds whether she is performing in the basement of a church or fraternity house.
  • Performing for over ten years now, Bryson Turner is the guy who loves talking to people and making them feel better about themselves. Picarro says that “both Pittsburgh and New York comics like him, and that’s saying something cause most comics don’t like anyone.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance by visiting or calling 412-837-2542; tickets will also be available at the event.

For $125, VIP ticket holders can enjoy an exclusive Drum Bar reception with hors d’oeuvres and cash bar from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. as well as a buffet-style dinner from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and reserved seating at the 8:00 p.m. show.
For $65, general admission ticket holders can choose seats on a first come, first serve basis when the doors open at 7:45 p.m. for the 8:00 p.m. show.

To learn more about this event or NPFWPA, contact Communications and Development Coordinator, Amie Lee Morrisey, at 412-837-2542.

About National Parkinson Foundation Western Pennsylvania

Established in 1995 and formally affiliated with the National Parkinson Foundation in spring 2011, the National Parkinson Foundation Western Pennsylvania (NPFWPA) provides services, support, and education for the estimated 10,000 people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and their families the tri-state area. As the number of individuals living with PD in our region continues to increase due to the aging population, NPFWPA remains committed to supporting medical research to discover the cause and cure of PD.

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