LaughFest announces ‘High Five’ Corporate Challenge Day on March 4

Sheriffs high five
Members of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department participating in the “High Five” Challenge


By Tyler Lecceadone


Gilda’s LaughFest, the nation’s only community-wide festival of laughter, has announced their upcoming “High Five” Corporate Challenge Day open to all West Michigan businesses, offices and organizations to participate.


The “High Five” campaign celebrates the importance of emotional health and the role laughter plays in our lives. It creates visibility for the cancer and grief support programs offerfed through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and Gilda’s Club Lowell. This year they’re illuminating their children’s programs – cancer, grief and in-school emotional health programs.


Organizations may collect donations by inviting employees to wear jeans to work, or a hat, or a tee shirt, or the color yellow (for LaughFest!) or any other seriously fun and funny thing they can offer their team as “special” that fits with their culture and work environment.  This year’s Grand Prize for the organization that raises the most money in High Fives on March 4 includes LaughFest tickets, merchandise, and goodies, along with restaurant gift certificates and more.


How the “High Five” campaign works is simple. Each participating business or organization is asked to give Gilda’s LaughFest a “High Five” ($5 donation or greater per person that wishes to participate). Their goal is to generate $50,000 for children living with cancer or grief, and for their in-school emotional health programs. All proceeds raised go directly to Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.


“We’re very grateful for all the past companies who participated and helped us raise funds for our children’s programs,” said Wendy Wigger, president of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids and LaughFest. “We’re hoping to get many more local businesses and organizations to participate this year.”


Gilda’s LaughFest was created by a team at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids in 2011. Designed to celebrate laughter for the health of it, LaughFestfeatures free and ticketed events including stand-up, improv, film, authors, community showcases and a variety of seriously funny stuff. PastLaughFest headliners have included George Lopez, Wanda Sykes, Billy Gardell, Iliza Schlessinger, Jay Leno, Lily Tomlin, Chris Tucker, Mike Birbiglia, Margaret Cho, Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Mike Epps, Rodney Carrington, Martin Short, Kevin Nealon, Wayne Brady, Jim Breuer, Joel McHale, Lewis Black and Brian Regan. Proceeds from the festival will go to support the free cancer, grief and emotional health programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. Visit the website, or call 616.735.HAHA (4242) to learn more about Gilda’s LaughFest.

To sign up to participate in the “High Five” Corporate Challenge Day on March 4, please contact Shawn Ruetz, Director of Development at or 616.453.8300 ext. 137 for details and materials.