Originally published in Inklings on November 15, 2013 by Jimmy Ray Stagg
Hello and welcome to “Whose Show is it Anyway?” where the jokes are made up and the dollars definitely matter. On tonight’s show, we only have one cast member, and thankfully it’s the funny one, Wayne Brady.
On Nov 2, Wayne Brady (“Whose Line is it Anyway?” “How I Met Your Mother” “Let’s Make a Deal” etc.) made a stop at the Westport Country Playhouse. He was the celebrity guest star for Homes with Hope’s 6th annual fundraiser, Stand Up for Homes with Hope. He performed improvisational comedy. Brady did some skits on his own, but the majority of the skits involved several different volunteers from the audience to join him onstage.
Homes with Hope is a not-for-profit agency that helps people who have found themselves in very hard times, often without sufficient shelter or money to support themselves or their families. HwH houses 85 individuals nightly, and currently provides 30,000 meals each year.
Jeff Wieser is the current CEO of HwH. Wieser, a board member of HwH since 1989 (when it was called the Interfaith Housing Association), is very proud of what HwH is doing, and the support provided by the Westport community.
“[Homes with Hope] is one of a very small number of such organizations in ANY suburb in America. Homelessness is a big city problem, made more so by the unwillingness of suburban communities to care for their own challenged population,” Wieser said.
“Since 1984, Westport and Weston have been different by being big supporters of Homes with Hope and its programs which are spread throughout this blessed community.”
Before Brady made his way to the stage, there was an auction of prize packages including tickets to next year’s baseball World Series, a weeklong stay in a Kiawah Island House and several other packages.
The auction and separate donations raised an immense amount of money, shocking Bailey Claffey ’15, who was volunteering at the event.
“I thought it was great and it kind of surprised me how much money was raised and made me happy knowing that it would go to such a worthy cause,” Claffey said.
This event was a pleasing introduction to HwH for some, including Jack Bowman ’15.
“I didn’t really know about Homes with Hope before this event, but now that I’ve seen all of the good it does for people in need, I feel good knowing that Westport is always there to help the less fortunate.”