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Comedians raise money for mental health programs in Red Deer

Red Deer Advocate - 10/6/2022

Local comedians raised over $1,000 for suicide prevention programs through their Sept. 24 Laughter Saves Lives Comedy Show.

It was held at the Memorial Centre in support of the Team Alex suicide prevention organization. The team is named for Alexander Ennis, a former player with Red Deer Pond Hockey who took his life in 2019. Team Alex was formed to stop this from happening to other families.

Comic headliner Rahul Kapoor was supported by Red Deer comedian Niek Theelen, Alexx Seguin, Robert Crane, Nick Fraser, J.R. Bjornson and Papa Larry. Theelen said these comedians also pooled proceeds from two previous shows in Sundre and Red Deer's Heritage Lanes. And they traded pins and stickers for donations at the Gasoline Alley farmer's market.

Theelen said his group is thrilled to make this contribution to an important cause. Having lost a couple of friends to suicide during the pandemic, Theelen added, mental health is a subject that's dear to his heart.

The comedians plan to use future shows as fundraising vehicles for other worthy causes, including the Saving Grace animal rescue and other groups.