Since Laughing Matters began in 2015, The Fountain Hill Center has been both humbled and gratified by how much our community supports our Lakeshore Counseling Office. Each year, we seem to attract more business sponsors, sell more tickets, and achieve higher levels of community engagement, and this year was no exception.
Laughing Matters Continues to Grow
Over 150 people gathered at the Shelby Optimist Club Hall on Saturday, February 24, 2018, to savor a delicious dinner, enjoy hilarious stand-up from Chicago comedian Patti Vasquez (pictured left), and celebrate the joy that comes when we give our mental health the attention it deserves.
Students from the Shelby High School National Honor Society once again volunteered to help serve and clear the fine dinner that Mary Rose Vanas and her wonderful helpers planned and prepared. And for the first time ever, the Shelby High School Choir served as our opening act, sharing two songs that spoke to the joy and renewal that is possible when we find our way to true refuge, even in the midst of stress and struggle.
Record Number of Event Sponsors
Twenty different businesses and organizations became event sponsors this year. Several of these sponsors have supported Laughing Matters since its inception, but many more are getting involved for the first time. This year’s sponsors include:
- Country Dairy
- EnerG Fitness
- Gales Agency
- Harbor Design and Construction
- Hart Congregational United Church of Christ
- Hart House Bed & Breakfast
- Heather Phares, DDS
- Klotz Agency – Farm Bureau Insurance
- Leif LED
- Meyers Chevrolet
- Oceana Builders Supply
- Oceana Veterinary Clinic
- Pixel Grafix Studio
- Shelby State Bank
- Silver Lake Amusements
- Snider Farms
- Mercy Health (a member of Trinity Health)
- Trinity Lutheran Church
- Van Duinen Builders
- Wayne Elhart Be Nice Memorial Fund
We are also grateful to 1st Street Market, Hart House Bed & Breakfast, and Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo for providing event door prizes; the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex for providing the Grand Prize for our Laughing Matters Story Contest; and to Fetch Brewing Company, Hansen Foods, and Oceana Winery & Vineyard for providing us with beverages.
Over $17,000 Raised for Counseling Services
All this engagement adds up! This year’s event raised over $17,000. That’s enough to fully fund more than 300 individual counseling sessions, and reduce costs for many more.
This means that hundreds of people in our community, who might otherwise have gone without needed services, will be able to get the support they need to be well and reach their full potential.
Kids will receive the support they need to cope with learning disabilities and skills deficits. Parents will receive the education and support they need to provide healthy parenting. People of all ages will receive the support they need to overcome abuse, addiction, grief, mental illness, and trauma. And our community will become stronger, more vibrant, and more capable of laughter and joy.
Thank You to Our Sponsors and Supporters!
Thank you so much to everyone who came to Laughing Matters this year, everyone who sponsored, and everyone who volunteered. Your contributions and hard work truly do make a difference. Every dollar raised through Laughing Matters will stay local and go directly to providing counseling services to those who would not otherwise be able to afford them.
By supporting counseling for all who need it, you’re directly impacting countless people’s lives for the better and helping to build better workplaces, stronger families, happier kids, and a more vibrant community. Thank you for partnering with us, and for believing in better tomorrows for the people of Oceana County!