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Family friendly humor on display at banquet

A rare, irresistible style of comedy will preside over an upcoming local fundraiser.

The “Laugh for Life — Ripples of Laughter Banquet” will feature the family friendly humor and insight of comedian Derrick Tennant at 5:45 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Holiday Inn City Center, 700 Rogers Ave. The seventh annual fundraiser benefits the Heart to Heart Pregnancy Support Center and will feature Tennant’s “great humor,” a dinner, dinner music and more, said Daphne Dahlem, HHPSC development director.

“This is going to be a really fun event for people, because Derrick is an artist who specializes in clean comedy,” she said. “We know that clean comedy is a rare thing these days.”

About 500 people are expected to attend the event, which will include dinner music by area group Sweet and Lowdown and a menu of chicken, pot roast, assorted vegetables and dessert, Dahlem said. Check-in will be at 5:45 p.m., with dinner served “promptly” at 6:15 p.m., she said.

“We are letting people know that they must get their tickets by calling 452-2260,” Dahlem said. “The deadline to get tickets is Wednesday, and they have to get tickets in advance for this event because space is limited.

“And we’re hoping for a great turnout for this to support the Heart to Heart Pregnancy Support Center,” she added.

Located at 417 S. 16th St., HHPSC is a pro-life, non-profit organization that has helped parents and grandparents in need for 27 years. HHPSC helps families in need with diapers, formula, parenting classes, counseling, education and other programs.

“This center is pro-life, but when you mention pro-life, it’s not just about babies,” Dahlem said. “It’s about everyone involved — moms, dads, grandparents, even siblings.

Dahlem said she and other organizers are hoping the event helps raise $80,000 to support the center.

“We’re wanting to raise money from the event, and from people’s donations,” she said. “Last year, we raised just a little over $40,000, so we’re hoping to double that this year.”

An Atlanta-based comedian, Tennant will discuss a variety of life’s subjects, Dahlem said.

“Derrick is a great man who is pro-life, so that means clean, fun comedy,” she said. “Derrick is a funny, funny man. There will be a lot of laughter.”

The banquet also will include a center update from HHPSC representatives, Dahlem said.

“We at the center fight to help our clients and their families get through any type of emergency situations — to give them hope and encouragement,” she said.

In 2012, the center helped more than 2,600 clients in the Western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma regions, Dahlem said. Many of those clients needed help because of the economy, she said.

“The economy is one of those things that isn’t a quick fix,” Dahlem said. “You do see a lot of families suffering from reduced hours, reduced pay and a lack of overtime — all the things you could rely on before to pay that extra bill.”

The banquet’s theme, “Ripples of Laughter,” will mirror what will be heard and seen during the fundraiser, she said.

“Each action we take in life causes a ripple that can be felt worldwide,” Dahlem said. “We want to promote that there are positive ripples that can affect other people. We are celebrating the great ripples we can do to help people in our community.”

Laugh for Life Banquet — Ripples of Laughter 2013

When: 5:45-9 p.m. Sept. 12

Where: Holiday Inn City Center, 700 Rogers Ave.

The event benefits the Heart to Heart Pregnancy Support Center and includes a performance by comedian Derrick Tennant, a dinner, dinner music by Sweet and Lowdown and more. Tickets can be obtained by calling 452-2660 by Wednesday. Dress is business casual.

For information, visit Tennant’s Facebook page and HHPSC’s Facebook page.

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