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Brain Benefiting Comedy

Local comics Awad, Bruno headline Boca Raton comedy show benefiting Alzheimer's awareness as part of Boca Festival Days.

by Chuck king
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BOCA RATON – Alzheimer’s disease is never a laughing matter.

While a condition that currently robs the memories of nearly six million people worldwide is usually no laughing matter, four South Florida comics will endeavor to show that laughter can provide some measure of relief.

South Florida non-profit Brain Bowl is holding a stand-up comedy night on Tuesday, with proceeds going to benefit the organization’s fight against Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

“Alzheimer’s is so sad, it’s nice to bring people together for a laugh,” event organizer Pam Higer-Polani said. “What better way to reduce stress than with laughter?”

Held at Boca West Country Club, Brain Bowl’s comedy night is part of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce’s Boca Festival Days.

As a probate attorney, Higer-Polani has witnessed the effects of Alzheimer’s on both the afflicted and their loved ones first hand.

“I saw what was happening to Florida – I grew up in this state – and it was devastating,” Higer-Polani said. “This is truly what I call ‘The weed in our garden of Eden.’”

As part of her effort to weed Florida’s garden, Higer-Polani created the first Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Boca Raton.

When considering what kind of event she want for Brain Bowl during this year’s Boca Festival Days – a month-long celebration of events featuring different Boca Raton non-profit organizations – Higer-Polani wanted to try something a little different.

“I looked at what other non-profits were doing and nobody was having a comedy night,” Higer-Polani said, “So I thought, You know what? Alzheimer’s is so depressing, it would be nice to actually bring people together for a laugh and give them a little respite from their worries. And what better way to do that than with comedy?”

A friend suggested to Higer-Polani that Boynton Beach-based comic Nadeem Awad could help produce the show.

He assembled a line-up that includes Pam Bruno, David Sadman, Charly Esturilho and Awad, himself. Awad, who headlines a November 9 show at the Palm Beach Improv, enjoys the crowds who attend shows for charitable causes.

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“I like them,” he said. “People are there for a cause – there to laugh for the most part.”

Comedy fans who purchase the $30 tickets for the 5:30 p.m. show will enjoy free food, an open bar and a night of laughter. There will also be door prizes, swag bags and some additional vendors on hand.

Higer-Polani is expecting as many as 250 people to attend.

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