Local councilman, celebrities try to elicit guffaws for a good cause– or two

Comedian Chris Spencer and Shante Broadus arrive outside the Laugh Factory to greet press and fans at the “Laughin’ Large” benefit last week.

Comedian Chris Spencer and Shante Broadus arrive outside the Laugh Factory to greet press and fans at the “Laughin’ Large” benefit last week.

By Brett Ashley Hawkins
Editorial Intern

In a fundraising effort for January 2011’s 23rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Peace & Unity Parade Celebration and the I Am S.H.A.N.T.E. Foundation, Sixth District Councilman Dee Andrews and Boss Lady Entertainment’s Shante Broadus hosted “Laughin’ Large,” a red-carpet comedy fundraiser Thursday of last week at The Laugh Factory in Long Beach.
Comedians who performed that evening included Chris Spencer, Yvette the Funny Lady, Scruncho, Deon Cole, Faizon Love, Rick Harris, and Tiffany Haddish. Spencer, who served as master of ceremonies, set up the other six comics to take the stage, and then called Broadus on stage to close the show with her thanks to everyone who bought a ticket to the show.
Broadus’s I Am S.H.A.N.T.E. Foundation (standing for “Seeking Her Ambiton Necessary to Excel) teaches young girls the essentials of becoming a lady and developing teamwork, good health, proper etiquette, and being environmentally green. “We empower young girls from ages 7 to 18,” said Broadus, who is married to hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg. “So far, we put on a double-dutch camp for the girls over the summer.” The foundation’s mission statement adds that it will challenge and cultivate the minds of these girls through a series of workshops, seminars, field trips, mentorship, volunteer campaigns, artistic expression, and developmental awareness to grow a sense of leadership.
When she had been offered the chance to run the event in conjunction with the City of Long Beach’s Martin Luther King Jr. Peace & Unity Parade Celebration, Broadus jumped at the chance. “It’s important to support, give back, and help others,” she said at the event. “It’s why we’re here tonight.”
Despite the parade’s funding being reduced by more than 50 percent from the past three years, Andrews’s Office, which produces it, remains optimistic that they can gather the funds required for the parade to take place. “I’ve known Mrs. Broadus for years and years,” said Andrews. “Partnering with her has been a pleasure, especially to support these two important causes.”

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