North Texas Daily

Local comedians spend the year raising money for schools

Local comedians spend the year raising money for schools

November 14
09:36 2016

Language of Laughter hosted their last show for the year, the Thanks for Giving Charity Comedy Show, this past Saturday. LOL is a Denton-based nonprofit that uses stand-up comedy to raise money for improved childhood literacy.

The nonprofit is founded and spearheaded by UNT student Stu Hollowell, 24. Over the past year, Stu and many other participating comedians have raised $3,000 for Denton bilingual students.

“We’re the only nonprofit that buys bilingual books,” Hollowell said. “It helps bridge the gap between English taught classes and monolingual families at home for bilingual students.”

Over the year, LOL has impacted various Denton schools and learning facilities, including Rivera Elementary, Myers Middle School, Newton Rayzor Elementary and the UNT Child Development Lab. Hollowell is looking forward to expanding into the Dallas area.

“We want to help any community that has a high Spanish speaking population,” Hollowell said. “Bilingual students have a great risk of getting left behind.”

LOL has not only helped schools financially, but they have also helped encourage literacy by reading to students and hosting creative workshops.

Nicholas Fields, 22, has been involved in with LOL since its beginning. He has been heavily involved in the comedy shows and book readings.

“I love reading to the kids,” Fields said. “I always volunteer at book readings because I can bond with the students and see the change being made.”

Similar to Fields, UNT student Shane Silagi, 24, has been involved with LOL since the beginning and has been contributing to the growth of the nonprofit. Silagi is a co-founder of the organization.

“I have always had a passion for education,” Silagi said. “I want to make a difference in the education system, especially for underprivileged students.”

Silagi is also involved in book readings and describes it as a gratifying experience. He said the students are engaged and entertained by seasoned performers. Not only do the students enjoy the comedians, but the comedians also enjoy spending time with the students. In March, a group of students performed plays for the comedians.

Around the time of the organization’s inception, comedian Angel Garcia, 23, started performing with LOL. His first show was the Shamrock Showcase, where they set a goal to raise eight-hundred dollars and wound up raising one thousand.

“Denton comedy is on the rise and LOL is killing it,” said Garcia. “My favorite part of this is helping charity.”

Garcia explained that LOL is a nonprofit unique to Denton. He shared his comedic experience as being tough and competitive as other local comedy scenes tend to be more cutthroat. LOL cultivates an environment that allows comedians to grow into their own while impacting their community.

For Denton’s comedic community, it’s a way to provide people with more than just laughter.

“I feel like we’ve definitely seen people come together,” Fields said. “Every show feels like a reunion since we’re all here doing what we love for such a great cause.”

LOL offers an opportunity for local comedians to shine while also providing the opportunity to read to children.

They rely heavily on the engagement of their audiences for their success and are grateful for the traction they got this year. Hollowell and LoL’s comedians are excited for 2017.

“The business of comedy is making people laugh,” Hollowell said. “Between adults and kids, we’ve really executed that.”

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Bina Perino

Bina Perino

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1 Comment

  1. Stu
    Stu November 17, 11:13

    Thanks for the article!

    Reply to this comment

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