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Comedy Night to benefit Carnegie club

| Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Lou Trombetta considers himself a jovial person — a jokester, even — around the Chartiers Boys & Girls Club in Carnegie.

But when he was asked to emcee the club's inaugural Comedy Night five years ago, it took some convincing.

“I said, ‘I've never been one, are you crazy?'” said Trombetta, the assistant executive director at the club. “The worst thing you can do is put a microphone in my hand.”

Initial doubts aside, the event ended up being a success.

The Boys & Girls Club now is readying to host its fifth annual Comedy Night at 7 p.m. March 15 at the DoubleTree hotel in Green Tree. Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased by calling 412-276-3151.

The event, which features three comedians along with food and drink, ticket and silent auctions and a 50/50 raffle, benefits the club's summer camp and teen employment programs.

“About five years ago, we decided (that) we do a couple small fundraisers, but we need one big fundraiser that will actually help us sustain our summer camp program and our teen employment program,” said Karri Moehring, vice chairwoman of the Boys & Girls Club, who is in charge of fundraising. She came up with the idea for holding the Comedy Night.

The money generated through Comedy Night goes partially toward providing scholarships for some of the 100 children who attend the nine-week summer camp, Moehring said. The camp costs $70, and Trombetta said about 40 children receive at least some financial help.

That included 20 full scholarships for children from Carnegie Towers, which Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek secured last year and hopes to do again.

“The great thing about the Boys & Girls Club is they don't turn away people because of need,” Kobistek said.

In addition, about eight teenagers work as camp counselors, and the money goes to pay their salaries.

Preparation for Comedy Night begins in January.

“There's a good plan, good system,” said club executive director Danielle Bauer. “So we just rev that up again, and everybody goes to work like they know what to do.”

The first Comedy Night in 2009 drew about 90 people. Last year, attendance reached 300 — a sellout — for the first time, and club officials expect more of the same this year.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 or dgulasy@tribweb.com.

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