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 LAUGH YOUR FACE OFF April 6, 2019

 

Raised OVER $560,000

 

 

 

 

Pat and Amy Tomasulo

 

by Jody Schwartz

 

Hi Everyone…

 

My cousin, Michael Pasternak, is a Founding Trustee of the Facial Pain Research Foundation; so my family and I have attended the LAUGH YOUR FACE OFF (LYFO) event in Chicago for the last five years to show support for finding a cure for Trigeminal Neuralgia and related neuropathic pain. This year I was asked by Dan DiCaro, another FPRF Trustee, to help create the LYFO live auction which had 87 items offered and raised over $57,000.  Winners came from five states and Mexico. So now I am officially a FPRF Volunteer!

 

The Fifth Annual LAUGH YOUR FACE OFF was held last Saturday in Chicago’s beautiful  Park West Performance Center and Concert Venue.  The 700 tickets sold out in only four days so LYFO may have to consider an even bigger venue for next year. The audience’s enthusiasm helped to make this year’s LAUGH YOUR FACE OFF a huge success.  The goal of LYFO has been to support the Facial Pain Research Foundation (FPRF) in their fight to find a cure for Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN).

 

Pat and Amy Tomasulo are the “founders” and “brains” behind the brilliant LAUGH YOUR FACE OFF annual fundraising event. Science researchers, TN sufferers, families and friends filled the audience along with  corporate sponsors. The evening began with cocktails, appetizers, the silent auction and the “great prizes raffle”! Over $10,000 worth of tickets were sold for the raffle!

 

The entertainment started with the fabulous crooning of John Vincent. Then the very funny Pat Tomasulo warmed up the audience with his great standup comedy.  After Pat got the crowd laughing we never stopped.  Calvin Evans, Chelsea Hood, Joe Kilgallon, Russ Williamson, and Ryan Dempster were the other outstanding comedians who took the stage.  They kept the audience laughing and got them “primed” to donate even more money to the silent auction and purchase more raffle tickets.  During the live donation event over $27,000 was raised in a matter of minutes from just the people in the Park West audience.

 

To date LAUGH YOUR FACE OFF has raised over 1.75 million dollars for research to find cures for the rare nerve disorder called Trigeminal Neuralgia.  The Foundation is currently funding seven different research programs to find the cures.  TN is known to be one of the most painful conditions known to humankind.  It is often called the suicide disease because in addition to the unbearable pain for many there is no known cause and no cure. 

 

During the evening several videos were shown to the audience. The first was about the research progress being made by the scientists toward finding the cures.  The second was about Cori Murdoch, a young woman FPRF Volunteer who died last year.

 

The video about Cori contained photographs showing how much she loved life.  It also showed how TN impacted her and her family when the TN pain returned after unsuccessful surgeries and treatments. This video and her parent’s presence in the audience explained the suffering of TN patients and gave everyone present a deeper understanding into the daily toll that TN takes on a person’s quality of life.  It was emotional, inspiring and heartbreaking. 

 

   
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