Laugh-In Reunion At Comedy Store Honors Lily Tomlin

Voice For The Animals Foundation Annual “Standup For Animals” Benefit To Raise Money For Cats And Dogs That Lost Homes Due To Foreclosure Crisis

Los Angeles – March 25, 2010 – The stars of TV’s classic hit comedy
Laugh-In are slated to appear and pay tribute to one of the show’s stars, Lily Tomlin, in a benefit for Voice For the Animals Foundation (http://vftafoundation.org) on Thursday, April 8th, at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood.  The star-studded event begins at 6:00 p.m. and will feature a “green carpet” for celebrity arrivals along with a reception, silent auction, a VIP room and gourmet vegetarian delights and delicious cruelty-free deserts.  At 7:30 p.m., non stop laughter will ensue as some of the greatest comics past and present take to the stage at the legendary Sunset Strip comedy landmark. Proceeds from the event will benefit Voice for the Animals Foundation and will go to the many dogs and cats that lost their homes in the ongoing foreclosure crisis.

To honor Tomlin, Voice for the Animals is bringing out the highly recognized personalities from Laugh-In: Jo Anne Worley, known for her razor sharp comic timing and infectious laugh, in addition to her turn on Broadway in Mame and Gypsy; Arte Johnson, whose iconic characters Wolfgang and Tyrone F. Horneigh left Laugh-In viewers in stitches; Gary Owens, the Laugh-In announcer with trademark deadpan delivery; George Schlatter, the show’s producer; and the show’s musical director Billy Barnes.  Also scheduled are surprise special guest star appearances from the show’s cast of regulars.

To make certain that once the laughs start they don’t stop, several of today’s brightest lights of stand-up comedy will take the stage. Rainn Wilson (The Office); Peter Berman (The Late Late Show); Carrie Snow (7,000 Sailors Can’t Be Wrong); and Suzanne Whang (Comedy Central’s Premium Blend).  Between laughs, the Foundation will recognize several individuals and entities for their contributions to the ongoing welfare of animals including Paul Jolly, executive director of the PETCO Foundation; Dick Van Patten, founder of Natural Balance Pet Food; and the City of West Hollywood.

Melya Kaplan, founder and executive director of VFTA says, “Many people don’t realize that Hollywood’s most gifted comics are some of the most vociferous and compassionate people when it comes to promoting animal welfare. Our Board is delighted to finally have an evening to bring them all under one roof, celebrate their accomplishments and honor them for the ongoing work they do in giving animals a voice in a very noisy world.”

Kaplan added that the stellar names have helped raise awareness of the Foundation’s many programs. She points to recent accomplishments such as Ruby the elephant reuniting with her companion and subsequent retirement from the zoo to the Performing Animal Welfare Society’s (PAWS) Wildlife Sanctuary; rescuing thousands of animals from foreclosures who would have gone to the pound; and the Helping Friends program that provides animal companions for seniors, shut-ins and those with disabilities.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $100 per person or $6,000 for a VIP table of 10 and access to VIP room, or $600 for individual VIP tickets. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available online at vftafoundation.org or by calling (310) 581-1585. Donations may also be sent to Voice for the Animals Foundation, 2633 Lincoln Blvd., #202, Santa Monica, CA; 90405-4656.

About Voice for the Animals Foundation
Founded by Melya Kaplan, Voice for the Animals Foundation (VFTA) is a nonprofit devoted to empathy for animals through education, rescue, advocacy and legislation.  Since it’s founding in 2000, VFTA has implemented programs such as reuniting Ruby the elephant with her companion in the L.A. Zoo in 2004.  In 2007, Ruby was moved to a free-roaming, natural habitat in Northern California.  VFTA “Working Cats” program has successfully placed homeless cats in the Orchid Mart, Crossroads School campus and the Los Angeles Police Department Wilshire and Foothill divisions to repel rats. This has allowed the cats to live in cooperation with the businesses they help.

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