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Laughing it up to benefit charity

Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project hosts second annual Comics for a Cause at the Santa Clarita PAC

Posted: August 14, 2013 7:18 p.m.
Updated: August 14, 2013 7:18 p.m.

Left to right, comedians Roy Wood, Jr., Jeff Sutphen, Billy Gardell and SCV Youth Project board vice president Martin Rodriguez at Comics for a Cause to benefit the SCV Youth Project.

The humor was mostly clean with the "theme" of the comedy emphasizing the classic differences between men and women.

Comedians Billy Gardell, Ralph Harris and Roy Wood, Jr,, with an assist by emcee Jeff Sutphen, entertained hundreds of guests at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center to benefit the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project.

Gardell, star of the CBS sitcom "Mike and Molly" said he was pleased to volunteer his time for the cause.

"I am a believer that if you can help you should, it’s that simple,’ he said.

Roy Wood, Jr., who appears on the TBS sitcom "Sullivan & Son," said he he was a product of the Boys & Girls Club of Birmingham, Ala.

"I am happy I’m able to be in a position to help out," he said. "It’s a privilege."

He said he would be "remiss" if he didn’t take the opportunity to "help out."

"I benefited from an organization that works toward the betterment of youth," he said. "Now that I’m older and in a position to help I want to contribute."

Kim Goldman, executive director of the SCV Youth Project, said the event helps fund the free services provided to high school and junior high school students in the SCV.

"We are so grateful to these comedians who have donated their time and talent to help the students of the Santa Clarita Valley," she said.

The SCV Youth Project provides crisis intervention, peer mentoring, parent support and group counseling for students dealing with suicide, drugs and alcohol, bullying and other stressful life situations.

Guests who paid an extra $35 were invited to attend an outdoor "meet and greet" of the comedians in a parking lot adjacent to the performing arts center.

Martin Rodriguez, vice president of the board of the SCV Youth Project, said the VIP party was a chance for guests and sponsors to meet the comedians.

"It’s a time to enjoy the night and mingle," he said. "It’s a fun festive occasion to bring Santa Clarita together."

Jeff Sutphen, who has appeared on Nickelodeon television on "BrainSurge" and "Figure It Out."

He also hosted "101 Ways to Leave a Game Show" for ABC.

"I think the Youth Project is a great organization," he said.

Jennifer Gerard, of Whitening Lighting, sponsor of Comics for a Cause, said it was "easy to get behind the work that this group does."

"The way they go into the schools and support these kids, how can you not get behind that," she said.

After the VIP party guests took their seats inside the PAC and the comedy began.

"Women are from Venus and men are from EARTH," said Harris as a roar of laughter erupted from the crowd.

For more information on the SCV Youth Project visit


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