Karen Rontowski Headlines Laramie Laughs for a Cause

Comedian Karen Rontowski headlines this year’s Laramie Laughs for a Cause, Soroptimist’s annual fund raiser, on Friday, Feb. 10, at the Gryphon Theatre, starting at 6:30 p.m.

With a stand up career that spans over twenty years, Karen has performed on the Late Show with David Letterman and Sirius Satellite Radio, in 48 of the United States (her Laramie appearance makes it 49) and over 13 countries, including New Jersey. She has opened for such show biz legends as Bob Hope, Ray Charles, David Brenner and the Monkees.

That was a big thrill for her since she feels there is no time like the present to be living in the past. She is now featured in the new line of greetings cards called “Frank and Funny” in Target stores everywhere. A television favorite, she has appear on Comedy Central, Live at Gotham, Comics Unleashed and Comedy.com.

Damian Griffin, the opening act, started in comedy in Denver with improv and sketches. He’s now a regular at the Comedy Works.

Before the show begins at 8, attendees can enjoy appetizers from Altitude, a cash bar, raffles, and a silent auction. Tickets are available online at soroptimistoflaramie.org and at First Interstate Bank, Security First Bank, and Western States Bank. They are $40 in advance and $45 at the door.

Soroptimist means “best for women.” The Laramie club is one of over 3,000 Soroptimist clubs in 120 countries and territories. Soroptimist International has about 76,000 members. The organization focuses on improving the lives of women and girls.

This eleventh annual event benefits SI/Laramie projects locally, nationally, and internationally. The club awards three Live Your Dream scholarships annually to local female heads of household who are attending university or trade school. The local winner is eligible to advance to the regional and national levels. The new Dream It Be it Career Support for Girls program will help high school girls grow up to be strong, successful, happy adults. Dare to Dream is an annual program for early teens encouraging self-esteem, healthy habits, and goal setting.

Last year SI/Laramie distributed funds locally to CLIMB Wyoming, Laramie Youth Crisis Center, ARK Regional Services, SAFE Project, Project Graduation, Distinguished Young Women, and Laramie Senior High School/Whiting High School college application fees, and internationally to the Tanzania Water for Lolkisale Village and the Masazone Soup Kitchen in South Africa.

Other Soroptimist projects include Dignity Dresses for Children of Peace International, Soroptimists Supporting Soldiers, and support for Interfaith Good Samaritan, Salvation Army, and the Laramie Greenbelt Trail.

The Laramie club was chartered March 9, 1975, with 23 members. Currently the club has 33 members.