Community Champions: Comedy fundraiser to benefit Performance Initiatives

Community Champions: Comedy fundraiser to benefit Performance Initiatives

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - On your mark. Get set. Be funny.

“Umm, knock knock?”

Marianne Ganem-Poppell promises her comedy routine will be more polished than that when she delivers it for an audience, in person and online, next weekend.

She is among a half dozen celebrity comics chosen from the community for Stand Up for Kids 2020 - an even benefiting the Performance Initiatives youth program.

“It was really an honor. I thought, you know, my mom thinks I’m funny,” said Ganem-Poppell.

Samantha Oughtred is a public relations professional who will also be trying to make a difference by making people laugh.

“Our event will be on the 7th, November 7th at 7 o’clock and be sure to tune in.”

Tickets are being sold for people to attend the event virtually, and each comic will solicit online donations for Performance Initiatives' after-school Olympic weightlifting program for at-risk youth.

“I feel like Performance Initiatives just levels it up a bit, gives these kids goals they normally wouldn’t have, gives them something to look forward to and to build toward and gives them more opportunities for growth as they become adults,” said Oughtred.

The program has grown to offer after-school tutoring and mentoring - and has also sent several lifters to national and international competitions.

“I think this is such a positive organization because it helps put energy into something good, into working out, into building something that is going to benefit you for the long run.”

And now, wanting to help that program will send several WTOC Community Champions on stage, in front of a camera and to the center of attention.

“I have a 7-year-old daughter who is going to be joining me on stage and we’ll see how it goes, but she’s way funnier than I am, so it should be a lot of fun.”

“My kids roll their eyes at me a lot, but I was like, surely I can make people laugh for the children maybe. So, I was excited. It was an honor.”

You can buy tickets to the virtual show or donate to comedians on their website.

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