United Way fundraising surpasses $1 million

VIENNA — Hundreds of community members joined United Way to enjoy some comedy with a cause.

The fourth annual Laugh United fundraiser to benefit the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley was held Friday at Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna.

Laugh United: A Night of Cocktails and Comedy featured four veteran touring comics and Bob and Tom Show legends Greg Hahn, Jack Freeman, Josh Arnold and Henry Phillips.

“Laugh United provides an opportunity to create awareness of United Way while giving the community a night of laughter,” United Way Executive Director Stacy DeCicco said.

Last year, the United Way earned a record $920,000 at the event.

“With such a high bar, we jumped right into volunteer work and fundraising,” DeCicco said.

This year, the United Way raised $1,003,500.

“We love that moment of excitement and we are anxious to share that success with our community,” DeCicco said.

“All raised proceeds from the United Way Alliance of the Mid-Ohio Valley go back into the community,” DeCicco said.

DeCicco thanked all those who had donated and sponsored the program.

“Every dollar counts and makes a difference in our community,” she said.

“It has been a year of growth and excitement for our organization and we enjoy getting to celebrate that success with our community,” DeCicco said.

Friday’s show sold out prior to the doors opening.

“This is the first year that the event has sold out; we even had to turn away over 100 people,” DeCicco said.

The United Way supports, collaborates with and provides funding for more than 80 programs and initiatives in the region, which focus on the education, financial stability and health of every person in the Mid-Ohio Valley, she said.

This year’s theme was on being a local hero.

“When you embrace the hero within, the ordinary becomes extraordinary,” DeCicco said.