Gilda’s LaughFest announced the addition of three speakers to the LaughteRx Emotional Health Speaker Series.
Vanessa King, Terri Tate and Kelly Epperson will speak on issues ranging from psychological well-being to the healing power of humor. This series is being presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and will take place at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
Other events and activities added to the LaughteRx schedule include: laughter yoga, Gilda’s Clubhouse tours, and a free community showcase entitled “Gilda’s Club: What’s Funny About That,” which gives Gilda’s Club members, comedians and people from the community an opportunity to share humorous stories as they tackle big things in life like cancer and grief.
Vanessa King will speak at the LaughteRx Emotional Health Speaker Series on Monday, March 11 at 6 p.m. King’s presentation will focus on the importance of laughter and happiness in individuals personal and professional lives. As a board member of Action for Happiness, the leading UK-based not for profit focusing on proactively building skills for psychological well-being and resilience, she takes an active role speaking on their behalf nationally and internationally, and translates psychological research into practical action for individuals, organizations and communities. The is trained as a facilitator on the University of Pennsylvania’s Master Resilience Training Program for the U.S. Army; she is a master practitioner of New Economics Foundation’s happy@work diagnostic and is a member of the UK Government’s taskforce on employee engagement, Engage for Success.
Terri Tate will speak at the LaughteRx Emotional Health Speaker Series on Tuesday, March 12 at 6 p.m. Tate will talk about her personal cancer journey and the laughs she found along the way. A nationally recognized speaker, successful therapist, hypnotherapist and consultant, Tate was silenced by oral cancer in 1991. Doctors said she had a 2 percent chance of surviving the disease that cost her more than half of her tongue and lower jaw. Tate survived the cancer and reclaimed her voice. At the same time, she honed her storytelling skills and now hopes that lessons learned along her healing journey will shed light on the path for others.
Kelly Epperson will speak at the LaughteRx Emotional Health Speaker Series on Thursday, March 14 at 6 p.m. She will talk about personal happiness and how it impacts health and day to day living. Epperson, a former IRS agent, is an author, speaker, and coach who teaches how to use humor and how to be happy. She is the founder of the Happiness Club of Loves Park, IL, has written three books of her own, co-authored a book that went to #1 on Amazon and written 20 books for others, including NY Times best-selling authors. In addition to this work, Epperson writes a weekly newspaper column.
LaughFest opens March 7 and runs through March 17. Entertainers who have already been announced for this year’s event include: Jim Breuer, Bill Burr, Joel McHale, Gary Valentine, Justin Willman, the Nerdist Podcast Live! (co-hosted by Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira), Eric Andre, Neal Brennan, Loni Love, Pete Holmes, Fortune Feimster with Myq Kaplan and Michael Yo, W. Kamau Bell, the Shaquille O’Neal Presents ... All-Star Comedy Jam and others.
All dollars raised support the free cancer, grief and emotional health programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. Visit www.laughfestgr.org or call 616-735-HAHA (4242) to learn more about Gilda’s LaughFest.