On Thursday, April 4 2019, Shine alumnae Sarah Lashbrook and her amazing team, the Sudbury Comedy Gala Committee, hosted their 5th Comedy Gala to help change lives of young people living with severe physical disabilities .
Presented by Sudbury Auto Glass, Under The Big Top Comedy Gala was a circus-themed night full of laughter headlined by comedian Elvira Kurt. Over 200 people were in attendance, raising $9,085 for Shine programs. The committee would like to thank The Keg for hosting the VIP pre-party.
Fundraising events run by dedicated third-party organizers like the Sudbury Comedy Gala Committee are necessary for Shine to help raise funds for our programs. We are a self-funded charity and do not receive any government or United Way funding. Therefore, we are totally reliant on our community for funds such as those generated through fundraising events such as the Comedy Gala.
From her own experience and passion for Shine, Sarah explains to the audience the importance of their support: “It’s so much more than an experience, you’re giving them future. You’re giving them ‘years later’, you’re giving them this family, and you’re giving them you (a donor) as their family.”
As part of the evening’s presentation, Sarah shared her life’s journey and explained the impact of her Shine Experience and what it means to continue supporting Shine more than twenty years later. “I stayed with Shine because it’s something so incredibly important to me and that’s where my heart is. Shine saved my soul. Shine made me who I am. I don’t think I could ever be thankful enough. But it’s not only that. I also got the one thing I lost in that accident – I got a family of Shine.”
At the age of fourteen, Sarah was in a car accident that severed her spinal cord, causing instant paraplegia. She lived the next two years in and out of the hospital learning how to live a new life in a wheelchair. She didn’t know where her life would lead until she learned of the Shine Foundation.
Sarah’s experience of going behind the scenes of Rosanne uncovered the world of writing and helped her develop a sense of who she was. Since then, Sarah hasn’t looked back and has led a successful career in writing novels, screenplays, articles, and news features.
In her presentation, Sarah shares that after her accident, “A fantastic physiotherapist told me the best advice of my entire life - that still sits true for me. She told me, I can cry for 10 years, or laugh for 10 years. It doesn’t matter. Either way, at the end of that 10 years, I’m still going to be in a wheelchair. So I needed to decide what to do. And so I chose to be happy.”
Laughter changes lives.