Comedy for Charity: Thank You for Serving Benefit honoring Veterans



    Thank You For Serving: The Benefit


    Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 7:00 PM

    Fox TucsonTheatre Tucson, AZ




    Honorary Chair: Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

    “This year’s show, emceed by David Fitzsimmons, is an adult variety show for mature audiences (ages 15+).   It will feature Tommy Blaze, who is a veteran of the comedy stage. Tommy has been called America’s premiere relationship comic. For over two decades, he has entertained audiences from all walks of life. Blaze has performed in such diverse arenas as television, film, comedy clubs, colleges, military bases, casinos, cruise ships, and churches.

    Tommy sums up his broad appeal with a simple statement: “Wherever you find men and women together, that ‘s where I’m needed.”  He has appeared in the NBC mega-hit Friends, and movies like Me Again and Marriage Retreat. He also writes films, including Brother White and God’s Not Dead.

    To round out the talent, there will be feature comedy act Butch Lord, from Dallas, Texas; Michael Garvey, from Annapolis, Maryland, a veteran who was shot twice in Afghanistan, was awarded the Purple Heart and who now does comedy with his service dog Liberty: a dance performance by senior tap group The Rodeo City Wreckettes; Hip hop by the award winning Egokillaz;  and music by Los Guapos, Janee Starr, as well as local musician Kate Becker and her band.  Music! Dance! Comedy! And it’s all for a wonderful cause—to make our community a safer place while at the same time the audience is entertained by a first class show. Our mission this year is to raise money (hopefully a lot of money) and awareness about the problem of veterans committing suicide.

    Comedy for Charity was the brainchild of Suzie Sexton, who wanted to do something that would make a difference in the arena of preventing violence.  The charity is dedicated to preventing others from suffering the pain and agony of being victims of violence. “Violence is like a disease that needs to be cured. I’m doing what I can to end it,” says Sexton. In the spirit of Florence Foster Jenkins, she is donating  200 tickets to veterans in need for them to be able to attend the show.

    Sexton is a comedian, writer and producer. Her sister was murdered in an unsolved mugging in Chicago in 1980. Since then, she has worked and volunteered in various capacities to reduce violence. Her fundraisers are raising money and awareness for charities such as Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, Tucson’s January 8th Memorial Foundation, Dancing in the Streets AZ, Hope for Haiti, Shared Hope, The Tucson Musician’s Museum and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

    Twenty (20) veterans a day commit suicide, a rate much higher than the general population. This year the show will donate proceeds Rally Point, a local nonprofit that assists veterans and their families. It provides mental and behavioral health services for veterans, including suicide prevention and peer support. The secondary beneficiary will be Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, which works to prevent domestic violence. Tickets are $60 (VIP), $30, and $20 (students and veterans with ID).”

    More info: Comedy for Charity presents: Thank you for serving – the benefit
    A special event honoring veterans and benefiting Rally Point, a local nonprofit that provides treatment and services for those returning from the military and their families, as well as Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse
    Featuring Tommy Blaze with Dave Fitzsimmons, Suzie Sexton, Butch Lord, Michael Garvey, The Rodeo City Wreckettes, Egokillaz, Los Guapos and Kate Becker
    Buy tickets at
    VIP $60
    General $30
    Veterans and students with ID $20

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).

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