Next Friday, Laugh For A Cure

Next Friday night, there’s a good reason to have a few chuckles.

Trinity Lutheran Church is hosting a Laugh for a Cure comedy show that will benefit the Margarita Group, a Sunset Park-based non-profit that provides support for women diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer.

Performing at the show will be four local funnymen: Eric Nieves, Kenny Ortega, Ruperto Vanderpool and Willie Sweets.

Margarita Rosa, president of the Margarita Group, said that she hopes the event raises enough funds to keep the organization alive. Although it has been around since 2003, Rosa quit her job at the Lutheran Family Heath Center in 2009 to work full-time at the Group.

“I wanted to give more. I saw the need for other things,” Rosa said, adding that she just “woke up one day and resigned” with no future plans.

“All I knew was that I wanted to help these women that were diagnosed and show them that this isn’t a death sentence,” she explained. “I saw that they needed someone that can listen. Families are so tied up with working and you don’t want to trouble your kids with what you are going through. I saw the need for a safe haven.”

The group is run by Rosa and her husband. They provide plenty of free services for women diagnosed with any type of cancer, including navigation through the health care system; a mammography truck, funded by the Cancer Service Program; support groups; wigs and prosthetics for those in need; and fitness classes.

“We are not funded by anyone and do it all ourselves,” Rosa said. “We are [also] a resource for the community for people who need clothing. Whatever they need, they come knocking on our door. It’s a great feeling.”

Rosa said that women truly benefit from the group. “They come out of that shell and realize they can help other women. It’s become a family,” she said, adding that the members socialize outside of the meetings. “They refer to each other as sisters. You can really feel that this is something.”

She hopes that the comedy show will be able to keep the group going. “As more new women walk in the door, I see there is more need,” Rosa said. “We are just here trying to do the best we can.”

The Laugh for a Cure comedy show will take place on Friday, February 22 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 411 45th Street. Tickets cost $20 and there will also be a 50/50 raffle. For more information, call the Margarita Group at 718-369-7393.

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