HCN News & Notes

Local Comedian’s Company Raises $200,000 for Local Organizations

SPRINGFIELD — Jess Miller, a Springfield-based comedian, launched FunnyRaising Comedy Shows in 2014, a company that brings in comedians for a stand-up comedy show fund-raiser. In one year, the new company has helped organizations raise more than $200,000 collectively.

“The first fund-raiser was for Foster Kids,” Miller said. “I then did a second fund-raiser for a friend of who had been diagnosed with stage-3 breast cancer. Organizations started calling me, wanting to set up their own comedy show fund-raisers. I thought it was a great way to give back.”

Organizations like nonprofits, high-school bands, and PTOs have raised between $1,000 and $19,000. Results have varied, but the average show raises about $5,000. “We’re looking to raise more money in 2017 for local organizations,” Miller said.

For each event, Miller provides organizations with three comics, flyers, social-media and e-mail images, tickets to sell, website and social-media postings, and sound and lights (when necessary). The organization is responsible for picking a venue (Miller also has some to choose from), picking the fund-raiser date, and selling tickets to the fund-raiser. The organizations that raise the most have additional options to raise funds, like raffles and 50/50 draws. Based on preferences, the comedy shows are rated anywhere from PG to R.

Miller is the creator and producer of the “OMG! It’s Only Wednesday?” comedy show at Hu Ke Lau in Chicopee. She recently placed in the top three of the Devil Cup Comedy Festival in New York City and has performed stand-up comedy throughout New England and New York City at places such as Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, Comedy Connection in Rhode Island, New York Comedy Club, Greenwich Village Comedy Club, Comic Strip Live, Broadway Comedy Club, and Caroline’s on Broadway.