Laughing All The Way To The Bank
The Hudson High School Athletic Booster Club in Hudson, Massachusetts, has been hosting an annual comedy show for nine years. Hiring Boston-area comedians and comediennes, the night is always full of laughs and good times, not to mention that it can bring in $2,500 to aid the school's sports programs.
President, Hudson High School Athletic Booster Club
Our booster club has been hosting a comedy show as a fundraiser for nine years. It's an easy and fun event that benefits our sports programs. And everyone has a great time.
We usually have three comedians, plus one "host" comedian. You can have as many comics as you want, but you do have to pay them.
First, we contact a manager/host comedian who in turn contacts local comedians to see if they are available and are interested in performing. The host, who is part of the act and tells jokes between the other comedians' sets, receives anywhere form $200-$500. The comedians usually get from $300-$500.
Although the greater Boston area is known for its history of fine comics, we don't book big headliners. The ones who perform for us can typically be found on Comedy Central, etc. Two of the more popular comics we use are Patty Ross and Larry Miles. But I am sure you can locate a good amount of local talent from area comedy clubs.
We use our local Elks Club as the site of the fundraiser. They donate the facility to us, which is great because the Elks usually charge around $250 a night.
The cost is $15 per person to attend. We also offer an option of $150 for a table of 10. We always fill the tables.
Our Elks Club holds up to 350 people. We're a small town but we make around $2,500 for the event.
The evening consists of a cocktail hour at 7 p.m. followed by the comedians, who go on around 8 p.m. Each set lasts 45 minutes and the show normally ends at 11 p.m.
We don't provide food at the fundraiser. Instead, we encourage everyone to bring their own. BYO eats if you will. This cuts down on costs. In the past we have seen everything from Chinese food to calzones to shrimp and cheese and crackers. Every table brings whatever it wants.
There is a cash bar where beer, wine and mixed drinks are provided. And we do check for ID.
The room and tables are decorated in our school colors (red and white). We go pretty cheap, using plastic table clothes purchased by the boosters at the local dollar store. When the night is over, we just put them in the trash.
Each table has sport-themed centerpieces made of chocolate pops--football, field hockey, cheerleader, and hockey etc.--and placed in glass fish bowls. These are also purchased at the local dollar store.
All of our Board members help out and we send emails asking for volunteers. We have found that six to eight people are needed, overall, to do things such as printing tickets, hanging signs at local businesses, and so forth.
The night concludes with a 50/50 raffle, with half the donations going to the booster club. The cost is $5 for an arms length of tickets. We also get donations of tickets to Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox games, in addition to a Cape Cod weekend get-away, which we raffle off.