Comedy event for a cause

Transition Village Wallan founder Judy Clarke says money raised from Comedy for a Cause event in Kilmore on March 13 will go to the not-for-profit organisation.

A WALLAN not-for-profit organisation will host Comedy for a Cause next month at Kilmore Soldiers Memorial Hall, a fundraiser that also aims to bring the community together for a laugh after lockdown.

Comedy for a Cause is an Australian organisation that books comedians for not-for-profit events, with at least one headliner from the Sydney or Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

It works as a lucky dip, with the hosts unaware of who will perform until two weeks prior to the event.

Money raised from the Kilmore event on March 13 will go to Transition Village Wallan, which, still in its development stage, aims to provide off-the-grid sustainable accommodation to homeless people or people at risk of homelessness within the Mitchell area.

Founder Judy Clarke said the pandemic delayed the planning permit process and their fundraising efforts, but that this comedy show would put them back on track to launching in early 2022.

“We absolutely scrapped last year for anything as most people [did] for fundraising. We’re now on getting our local fundraising efforts established again,” she said.

The ecovillage will accommodate up to 10 people in its trial phase, located on land 900 metres from Wallan rail station.

Powered by solar, with its own farm, composting toilets and other practices that will make the site as self-sufficient as possible,

Transition Village aims to work with registered housing authorities, such as Nexus, Salvos and Brotherhood of St Lawrence, who would refer clients for stays of up to 12 months.

It aims to provide employment support as well as education on how to live and adapt to a changing climate, from organising clean energy, to farming.

“Our job is to then make sure that they’re able to link easily with the people they need,” Ms Clarke said.

“[Some] people need professional services that we really can’t supply, so we know our limits.”

This is the second time Transition Village Wallan has hosted a Comedy for a Cause show, last time raising more than $2000. Ms Clarke hopes to raise more this time by selling all 200 tickets.

“We actually need around 70 people to break even, and then we make a profit,” she said.

Ms Clarke also hopes this event will bring members of the community together after last week’s lockdown.

“Lockdown could happen at any time now, we need to deal with it and reconnect with our friends and start to get a bit of happiness and laughter going,” she said.

“We have to overcome that reluctance to plan ahead and commit to dates, and that is a step towards [better] mental health I think. This uncertainty of, ‘what do we do? We just stay home’ is really quite damaging to communities.”

Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for students with food and drinks also available for purchase.

Tickets can be purchased at comedyforacause.net/tvw, or email Judy Clarke on ceo@tvw.org.au to enquire.

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