Press-Republican

August 20, 2013

Well-known comedians to headline fundraiser

BY AMY HEGGEN
Press-Republican

---- — PLATTSBURGH — Two nationally known comedians will perform here Saturday at a CancerBgone benefit to help renovate hospital rooms for cancer patients.

Moody McCarthy and Johnny Lampert had done stand-up for the local nonprofit’s first fundraiser in March 2011, and when group founder Patricia Diman called to book comedians for the upcoming Comedy Night, Lampert said they wanted to give a return performance to help further the cause.

“They give us a bit of a break,” she said of the fee that’s charged.

Lampert’s credits include appearances on Comedy Central and HBO; McCarthy has appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

’TO EASE SUFFERING’

Comedy Night is a way for Diman to celebrate the altruism and sense of humor of her late uncle Seamus Loughrey of Ireland, who had pancreatic and lung cancer before he died in 2010.

“I’m doing it to carry on how he looked out for people,” she said. “And if you can laugh along the way, even better.”

She created the organization CancerBgone in his memory, that same year.

CVPH is in the midst of renovating inpatient rooms where cancer patients undergo intense treatment; one has already been completed.

To do just one costs $10,000.

“If it can ease their suffering at all, that’s CancerBgone’s goal,” Diman said. 

“It just fosters better healing when the environment the patient is in is more practical, more comfortable, more soothing. It makes them feel more normal.

“I’ve seen cancer patients and how much they suffer,” Diman added, thinking of her father, Peter Kelleher of Ottawa, who was hospitalized for a month during cancer treatment in a room that was not conducive to healing.

“I’m going to do as much as I can for the cancer patients here.

“Anything that is going to foster healing is not a luxury.”

LIVE MUSIC, RAFFLE

Comedy Night begins with buffet-style appetizers and will also feature a live auction that includes artwork by local artists and a raffle of many items, among them 50 gift baskets, tickets to Walt Disney World with airfare and jerseys autographed by Major League Baseball players David Ortiz and Mariano Rivera. 

The night concludes with live music by Swift Technique, a funk band from Philadelphia. 

Support for CancerBgone’s efforts has been amazing, Dimon said.

“We couldn’t do it without the volunteers and the community,” she said.

It means all the more as she works on final details for Saturday’s show, as she just lost an aunt to cancer.

Diagnosed with colon cancer three years ago, Bernadette Coulson then developed lung cancer, succumbing last week.

The grief is raw and new, Dimon said, but it emphasizes the importance of her nonprofit’s effort to help cancer patients be as comfortable as possible as they fight the disease.

“It gives me more strength,” she said.

— News Editor Suzanne Moore contributed to this report.

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IF YOU GO

Comedy Night is set for Saturday at the Elks Lodge, 56 Cumberland Ave., Plattsburgh.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are $30. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.cancerbgone.net or call 578-4538.