LOL in Leaside turns to a BLAST in Thorncliffe

Heading into its sixth year of what has so far been a great success, the Laugh Out Loud in Leaside fundraising comedy show is aiming again to help Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park.

This time it will be for BLAST, a Mooreland’s After-School program that creates positive change for poor inner-city kids ages 6 to 12.

BLAST stands for Budding Leaders After-School Teams, with three locations in the Thorncliffe and Flemingdon areas.

It provides a safe, fun and enriching environment where children build positive character traits through physical activity, participation in art, science and drama projects, improve literacy skills and get homework help.

Last year LOL raised over $30,000 for New Circles, a not-for-profit organization that offers clothing services, community referrals and skill building programs to Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park and Victoria Village.

The first four years LOL raised over $130,000 to help finance the new arena in Leaside. When that was complete, says local real estate agent Charlene Kalia, “I felt it was time to focus and bring awareness to other local causes.”

Together with her volunteer team including Lara Neal, Mary Holmes, Selby Copeland and Brittany Poole, Kalia decided to help achieve important community goals.

This year LOL will be held Friday, Feb. 27 starting at 7 p.m. in the William Lea Room at Leaside Memorial Gardens and will feature Yuk Yuk’s comedy and The Indecision Band. The evening will also include a silent and live auction. Returning sponsors include Lexus On The Park, Grilltime, De La Mer, PepsiCo, Amsterdam Brewery, Neal Brothers food and a few surprises.