Photo Contributed Jason Hewlett performs during Comedy for a Cause a fundraiser for the Nanaimo Child Development Centre on Tuesday (May 23) at the Port Theatre.

Nanaimo Child Development Centre hosts comedic fundraiser

Comedian Jason Hewlett performs Tuesday (May 23)

An evening of laughter could help make a difference in a child’s life.

The Child Development Centre hosts Comedy for a Cause with Jason Hewlett on Tuesday (May 23) at the Port Theatre.

The centre hopes to raise $50,000, which will help pay for speech pathologists and reduce the waiting list for the speech language pathology program.

“Speech therapy has always been one of the highest wait lists,” said Michelle Kocourek, in charge of resource development for the Child Development Centre.

Speech therapy can help a child who in non-verbal learn how to communicate with their family and peers, express their needs and wants.

Aprielle McLeod’s daughter Venice is enrolled in the centre’s speech therapy preschool program and has a support worker.

When Venice first came to the centre at three years old she barely spoke, said McLeod in a press release.

“She loves coming here and we have watched her blossom,” said McLeod.

Tracy Berg, CDC fundraising officer, said every visit was a “new breakthrough” for the family.

“It was like opening up a whole world for them,” she said.

To celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary, ticket prices were lowered to $50 for regular seating. VIP tickets are $79 and include a meet and greet with Hewlett after the show. Tickets are available by calling 250-754-8550 or www.porttheatre.com. A welcoming reception is held at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.

Kocourek said she saw a show with Hewlett last year.

“I never laughed so much in all my life. He truly is the most entertaining entertainer I have ever seen,” said Kocourek. “He is just a phenomenal entertainer and every one is going to wish they were there.”

Prior to Hewlett taking the stage, people can enjoy music by the Wellington Jazz Alumni Trio, consisting of Steve Berg, Erica Hanna and Kenton Dick.

People who can’t attend the show can still support the Child Development Centre by buying raffle tickets. First prize is an outdoor fun package valued at $2,850, that includes a motorhome rental from Arbutus RV. Second prize is 25 dinners for two, valued at $1,250, at various restaurants. Tickets are one for $20 or three for $50 and can be purchased by calling 250-753-0251 ext. 265.

For more information about the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, please visit www.nanaimocdc.com or for information about Hewlett, visit http://jasonhewlett.com.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com