The Challenge Center in La Mesa, providing skilled physical therapy rehabilitation, specialized assisted fitness training and wellness programs for physically challenged people since 1987, has announced its 16th annual Comedy Night Gala fundraiser will be held on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Allen Airways Flying Museum at Gillespie Field, 2020 N. Marshall in El Cajon.

Reception and silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m., live auction, a program honoring Ed Burr, president/CEO and founder of Edco Disposal Corp., and a performance by comedienne and actress Vicki Lawrence. Burr serves as a member of the Challenge Center board of directors. Edco has grown into the largest, family-owned-and-operated waste collection and recycling firm in the U.S.

More than 200 people are expected to attend the fundraiser. Tickets for Comedy Night begin at $200 per person. Proceeds from Comedy Night will benefit the Challenge Center’s scholarship fund that subsidizes physical therapy expenses for low-income individuals. Betsy Boney, Challenge Center board secretary, is serving as event chair. Boney’s husband Scott, a member of the Boney family that founded the Henry’s Marketplace chain of grocery stores that now operates the Windmill Farms store in San Diego’s Del Cerro neighborhood, has received rehabilitation services at the Challenge Center since 2008, when he suffered a brain injury after being pushed down stairs aboard a cruise ship. Honorary chairs for the evening will be Julie and Tom Karlo of KPBS, and Bill and Claudia Allen of the Allen Airways Flying Museum. Dinner will be provided by ArtQuest Catering of San Diego. Emcee will be Steve Atkinson, KGTV-TV co-anchor of 10News. Donations of professional services and merchandise for the silent auction are welcomed. Also, sponsorship opportunities are available. For silent auction donations, tickets or sponsorship information, contact Trish Brereton at (619) 318-2586 or comedynightgala@gmail.com. For more event information, visit www.challengecenter.org.

Lawrence is known for her co-starring role on “The Carol Burnett Show” from 1967 to 1978 as the witty and smart-aleck Thelma Harper or “Mama.” Her popular elderly character led to her own television series called “Mama’s Family” that aired from 1983 to 1990. Lawrence has made numerous post-Mama’s Family guest TV show appearances in her famed role. Earlier this year, Lawrence appeared as the character in a special sketch for a show staring Betty White. In addition, Lawrence regularly hosts a stage show titled “Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two-Woman Show.”

Rick Griffin
Rick Griffin

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