Benefit of Laughter

The Benefit of Laughter

It’s ok to laugh again and enjoy an unforgettable evening of comedians, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, raffles, and a live & silent auction… all in support of the grieving children & families that Willow House serves.

Featured Comedians

Ana Belaval
Paul Farahvar
Patti Vasquez

Can’t make it?  You can still donate or purchase raffle tickets here.

General Information



April 6, 2019

Gorton Community Center

400 E Illinois Rd

Lake Forest, IL 60045


7:30 PM



Come as you are!

Event Details

Guests must be 21+ to attend.
Hors d’oeuveres and drinks included, plus open bar!
Live & Silent Auction and Cash Raffle Prizes:

Thank You Sponsors!

Thank You In-Kind Donors!

Our Emcee and Featured Comedians

Ana Belaval joined the WGN-TV in June 2005. She is currently a feature reporter on the WGN Morning News, covering the “Around Town” segment, which focuses on various people, places and things of interest in and around the Chicago area. Ana is a substitute anchor for CLTV News and WGN Morning News. She also contributes to the community affairs show ‘Adelante Chicago!”

Prior to coming to WGN, Ana spent nine years at Univision, starting as a general assignment reporter in the Chicago affiliate WGBO and working her way up to network correspondent for Univision’s national morning show based in New York.

While at Univision, Ana was nominated for an Emmy for her reporting series “Ana Lo Hace,” in which she performed various jobs held by Hispanics in Chicago. While in Chicago, Ana was also a weekend anchor and general assignment reporter. Ana is three-time Emmy winner and four-time Emmy nominee. She was also a finalist for the Peter Lisagor award for the special story,

In 2001, Today’s Chicago Woman selected Ana as “A Woman to Watch” for her accomplishments in the media industry. Ana is involved with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s Dancing with Chicago Celebrities created by Arthur Murray Dance Studios.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from American University in Washington D.C. Ana was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and is very proud of her heritage. She recently gave a TedX Talk about how she found success embracing 2 cultures and 2 languages. She now lives in Chicago with her husband and 2 children. Ana shows her comedic side when performing her stand-up routines at various spots around the city including Zanies Comedy Club and Mikey O Comedy Productions.

Paul Farahvar has been delighting audiences with his self-deprecating dry humor, centered on being an aging single. After training at The Second City and iO in Chicago, Farahvar quickly became a regular and local stand-up clubs, Zanies, Comedy Bar and Laugh Factory. Farahvar’s hard work, prior stage life (He was/is also a musician) and ease at connecting with audiences allowed him to achieve remarkably rapid success by industry standards, including the rare opportunity to host and produce his own monthly (now weekly) called “Drink Date Laugh” about dating and a new comedic game show called “Everyone’s a Lawyer” both at the World Famous Laugh Factory in Chicago.

Farahvar currently performs stand up regularly at Laugh Factory (Chicago, Las Vegas, Hollywood), Zanies (Chicago, Rosemont, and St. Charles), House of Comedy (Phoenix, Minnesota), Comedy Bar (Chicago), Skyline Comedy (Appleton), Comedy Club on State (Madison), McCurdys (Sarasota Florida) and Dr. Grins (Grand Rapids, Mi). He has toured as an regular opener for Gary Gulman, Demetri Martin, Chris Franjola, Jen Kirkman, Keith Alberstad, Maz Jobrani and Gad Elmaleh. He is also the host of the Podcast “Singles Only” (iTunes, Laugh Factory Channel) and 2 Guys, 1 Album (WGN Radio) and a regular guest host on WGN Radio.

Patti Vasquez was born and raised in Chicago and is an internationally performing stand-up comedian. As a host, Patti quickly claimed the number one spot for late night radio. She has appeared as a commentator for WGN-TV Morning News and Fox Good Day Chicago. She also served as a fill-in host for WCIU’s You & Me in the Morning. Patti was also honored by the National Museum of Mexican Art and the University of Illinois for her contributions to art and advocacy work.

Patti has two boys: Griffin, who is gifted, kind-hearted and the best big brother to Declan. Declan is differently gifted, charming and was born with a neurological abnormality called Corpus Callosum Disorder. Although he is missing a small part of his brain, Declan has made the world a much bigger place for his family and everyone lucky enough to know him.

In 2014, Patti created a company called “With Kind Words” in which she provides consultation for healthcare providers. She urges them to consider the emotional readiness of every member of the team, from the health professional to the caretakers, as they strive to ensure the best possible outcome. She incorporates humor and personal experiences as the mother of a child with special needs to lead her audience on an intellectual and emotional journey. She aims to help audiences recognize how they can incorporate compassionate communication and inspire them to do it well.

While still hosting her eclectic and wildly successful radio show, Patti began working with ABC to develop a sitcom based on her life.

Patti graduated from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana with a degree in History. She later disappointed her parents by dropping out of Northwestern’s PhD program to become a stand-up comic. It all worked out in the end. Or at least, so far so good.

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