The Kiwanis Club of Pekin is hosting its second Stand Up for Kiwanis charity comedy event Saturday where people can go to laugh at their neighbors and civic leaders and raise money for a good cause. 

The club first hosted a stand up comedy event in September 2016. It was held at the Speakeasy Art Center originally, but when it closed, the club had difficulty finding a place to hold such a large event for small rent, said Kiwanis President Baylee Gambetti. The first Stand Up for Kiwanis raised over $2,000.

The event this year is from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Capitol Street Sports Bar & Grill, 219 N. Capitol St., Pekin. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Advance tickets may be purchased at Dan Pfeifer State Farm, 1000 Court St., Pekin. The winner will be determined by the amount of cash or coin placed in cans to vote for comedians. 

Kiwanis is an organization that is focused on serving the children of the community.

The Kiwanis helps put together snack packs for students on free and reduced lunch programs so that they have food over the weekend. Members also help at the Midwest Food Bank a couple of times a month, just to name a few programs.

“We have a lot of programs that we fund ourselves like the Bike Rodeo or BUG Breakfast — Bring Up Grades where we celebrate students who invite there parents, and we have a recognition breakfast for them as an incentive to bring up any grade in any subject,” said Gambetti. “For the Bike Rodeo, we’re going to do Kiwanis park clean ups this year.

“The other side of our funding is grant process, which we are opening up right now. We have about $3,000 that we’re going to give away. The grant system is simple. Just fill out one of the forms and say how these funds will help your programing. As long as it is serving the children of the world and meets our mission, we’ll give it to you.”

The emcee for the program will be Bobby Lee. Lee leads a team of comedians called The Thrift Store Pickles. He has been in numerous theatrical productions in local theater. He leads a costumed group called Heroes INC. They visit the children at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria.

Comedians are:

Paul Belcher II — A member of the comedy improv team called The Thrift Store Pickles. 

Chris Spanos — Lawyer, District 108 School Board member. US Navy submarine veteran. He served as a nuclear reactor operator on a fast attack submarine. No comedy experience.

John Derosa — Father, husband and brother. US Marine.

Bill Robosky — Started telling jokes to get girls attentions in high school. He became one of the founding members of The Thrift Store Pickles.

Edgar Sandoval — Girls soccer coach at Pekin Community High School and works at Caterpillar. From the time he was a teenager, he had always wanted to try standup comedy. He entered the Jukebox Comedy Club’s amateur contest in 2016. He didn’t advance, but didn’t quit. He has since opened for professional comedians Mike Armstrong and Kevin McCaffery at the Mason City Limits Comedy Club.

Dustin Cohenour — Manages David Burling Excavating. He said when he isn’t crossing locations off his bucket list, “I can typically be found torturing the staff at Maquet’s Railhouse by playing far too much funk.”

Andy Todd — “Just a pretty average Caucasian,” he said.

Rusty Dunn —First time attempt at standup comedy. However, he said raising four kids and serving previously on the Pekin City Council helped prepare him for this moment. “You have to laugh, otherwise you’d cry,” he said.

Jim Sikes — Jim said he was “born to be a rock star.” Unfortunately, he said, he was born with no musical talent and comedy was a good fall back.

Ben Thomas — No Information provided.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1807624529270645/.