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Challenger Learning Center Comedy Funnyraiser 2014

When: Friday, February 28, 2014
Where: The Heartland Community College Campus Café


Time:  6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

The Heartland Community College Foundation hosted the 6th Annual FunnyRaiser Comedy Night to help disadvantaged students experience missions at the Challenger Learning Center. Participants had a chance to vote for their favorite comic and witnessed who was chosen as Critics Choice by the comedy judges.  Joe Strupek, who has won both Critic's Choice and Crowd Favorite awards, returned in a new role this year as emcee.

Congratulations to this years Crowd Favorite Dr. John Wieland and Critics' Choice Rick Pearce.  While the critics were making their decision, the audience was encouraged to come on stage and tell a joke to compete for the Crowd Pleaser title.  This year's Crowd Pleaser was Ella Zhang.  Congratulations Ella!

Other comics who comepeted this year and won a commemorative participation prize were:

  • Karen Deangelis, owner of the Holiday Inn Express in north Normal.

  • Christie Vellella, Sara Raymond teacher

  • Nora Dukowitz, last year's Critic's Choice winner who doubles as marketing specialist for the city of Bloomington.

Dukowitz, who was the only woman contestant last year said of her experience, "It was a pleasure to tell deeply personal stories about my family to a crowd of total strangers for their amusement, and less costly than traditional therapy! Plus, I'm happy to help benefit the Challenger Learning Center, an asset to the Bloomington-Normal community."

Pizza and sandwiches for the event were provided by Rosati's of Normal.

Thanks to Galaxy Sponsors-Jack Baetol Realty Group-Keller Williams, State Farm and College Station Apartments.

Check out our Facebook photo album from this year's Comedy Funnyraiser here.