An Evening with the ‘Rents, a popular fundraiser in it’s 5th year, is Friday, March 9th at a new local venue, Plexpod Westport Commons. The event raises money for Camp Encourage, a local overnight camp specifically designed for individuals with autism.  The story behind this event is definitely worth telling.

Speech Pathologists, Keenan Stump and Matt Braun, both of New Balloon Therapy, had an idea five years ago after a night of listening to parents with children affected by autism tell their stories. So many parents, telling the same stories of their remarkable children, funny stories on how autism had affected their lives. It wasn’t a way to complain about autism- it was a way to relate and empathize with each other. And with laughter, the idea was born.

An Evening with the ‘Rents is first and foremost a comedy show. The comedians? Brave parents of children with autism spectrum disorder telling their real-life tales and tribulations with their kids. Each year, a new crop of parents volunteer their time to learn and train with local comedians to craft hilarious stories from their lives into stage-ready material. As these parents would tell you, “The joke is us” and the humorous ways they and the rest of the world react to some very unique challenges. The first year, they started small, at a venue that had a hole in the stage. So many people turned out, a surprise to Keenan and Matt, that they had lines at the bathroom and ran out of booze! Each year, the production has grown, now being held at the Plexpod Westport Commons. Tickets are on sale now. Each ticket includes the comedy show, light snacks and beverages (Wine, beer, and non-alcoholic options.)

A shout out to all the local sponsors and parent volunteers- this show is an amazing piece of work that requires a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and of course, laughter. This year’s sponsors include some distinguished local companies: New Balloon Therapy, Summit Behavioral Services, Pathfinder Health Innovations, Kelsey Stegner Design Inc, Martin City Brewing Company, PlexPod Westport Commons, The Living Room, Thez Nuts, Comedy City and PromoteKC. Many more sponsors can be found here and there is still sponsorship available. This is a great way to promote your local business and give back locally at the same time.  Please consider sponsoring or buying your tickets today to help this year be the best year yet! The event has become a popular local KC fundraiser. Last year, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Mid-America Chapter honored Keenan, New Balloon Therapy Services, and An Evening with the ‘Rents at their National Philanthropy Day event. The ‘Rents were chosen as the recipient of the 2016 Avant Garde Award for Innovation in Fundraising. Cinematographer, Brandon Parigo, a local Kansas City photographer and  film maker, created a short multi-media story about An Evening with the Rents that has gained local and national attention.

Please join us at An Evening with the ‘Rents on March 9th at 6:00 at the Plexpod Westport Commons. Laughter and community is guaranteed and the money raised will go directly to Camp Encourage and Kansas City campers! #givelocal #supportlocal #promoteKC