SUMMIT, NJ - With most businesses and homes slowly getting power back after Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on New Jersey, the Summit Area YMCA attempted to put a smile on people's faces Saturday night, when they held Laugh Out Loud: An Evening of Comic Relief at the Summit Elks Lodge.
The event featured three comedians: Summit native Adam Sank, who was the host and auctioneer, Robin Fox and J-L Cauvin. Sank has been featured on various television shows including “Last Comic Standing” and “Hot Gay Comics,” Fox is a regular on the comedy circuit in New York City and Cauvin has performed at the biggest clubs in the country. There was also dessert, drinks and an auction.
Darrell Johnson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Summit Area YMCA, said the inspiration for the event came after they held their 125th anniversary gala last year. Sank emceed it and everyone enjoyed him and his comedic routine, so they wanted to bring him back, he said. Johnson said the goal of the evening was to make people laugh and raise money for the “Y.”
One of the people who helped plan the event was Sank’s sister, Laura Gump. Gump, who has lived in Summit her entire life and serves on the Board of Trustees at the YMCA. She has also been a member for 15 years.
“The “Y” is like the heart of the town,” Gump said.
She and her family participate in activities there year round. After everyone enjoyed her brother's comedic routine at last year’s event, she knew he would be perfect for this. Not only is he funny, but he always matches talent well with his audience, she said.
While the storm clearly affected the turnout, she still anticipated a great night.
“I think that you’re going to get a crowd here that’s very enthusiastic and very happy to have heat, light, friends, comedy and alcohol,” Gump said.
Both Sank and Cauvin have been doing stand up for the past decade. Sank said he enjoyed hosting the gala last year and it’s always great to be back in his hometown. When he was asked to perform at Laugh Out Loud, he jumped at the idea and knew his two friends would be perfect for it.
He has performed at the Elks on several occasions and always feels welcome there, he said.
“They are my favorite comedy audience in the world,” he said.
Sank has been involved in acting since a young age, but after college, he spent 10 years away from the theatrical arts. He missed the rush of being on stage so he tried comedy. While it’s been a struggle, just like it is for most comedians, it’s been great, he said.
“The nice thing is that I have this family in Summit that’s so supportive,” he said.
Cauvin, who is from Manhattan, started in comedy while attending law school to release some of his stress. He said he was always known as a funny guy and figured he would try it out on stage. Since then, he has enjoyed it and also performed with Sank at the Elks Club a couple of years ago and had a blast.
“You don’t get treated as well by most comedy clubs as you do when you do an Adam Sank show,” he said.