Quirky and bewildered perspectives were found and laughed at Friday night, Jan. 31, at Bernie’s Esquire Club, where comedians used their talents to raise funds to help animals find their forever homes through the annual Raise the Woof event.
Stephanie Arthaud, creator of Raise the Woof, told The Press that they have done this event for the past three years and normally have more than 100 people attend.
“We are in our third year now rescuing animals in the area and are almost at 1000 animals rescued,” Arthaud said. “These proceeds help us spayed and neuter animals and get them ready for adoption.”
They also had a 50/50 raffle that would have half of the proceeds go toward the Barn Cat Project, started in 2016 and help cats that are unable to be adopted escape certain death by offering them homage with farms, shops or other places out in the country.
“This year, Raise the Woof generously offered to include the Barn Cat Project because they know how we are really needing some funding right now,” Beth Hurt, creator of the Barn Cat Project and Second Chances, said. “We collaborate a lot with the Dickinson Area Animal Coalition and so we all work together really closely and help each other out whenever we can.”
Tommy Bayer, the host and emcee for the event, was loved by the crowd which was evident from continuous applause he received between each comedian set.
“I am excited to be here,” Bayer said. “I did a Raise the Woof comedy show last year in Michigan and had a great time with some great people.”
Bayer is in the comedy scene in Minneapolis as is Ryan Kahl, who was the second comedian up who connected with the audience through his life absurd life stories.
“We ran into some snow outside of Minneapolis though usually every time we cross the state line into North Dakota, the roads are iced over and the weather gets bad; thankfully that was not the case this time around,” Kahl said. “We are happy to be in Dickinson and the crowd has been exceptional.”
Being from Reno, Nev., Marc Yaffee, the headliner for night, was the oddball out but that did not slow him down or affect his set.
“This is a great North Dakota help the animals tour because in the winter, it can be awfully lousy for stray animals so it is great to be able to support them,” Yaffee said. “It's a gift to do something we love and to support a good cause.”
Yaffee's previous show was in Minneapolis, he got a chance to socialize with the other comedians as they rode together to Dickinson. They shared a vehicle to their next stop as well with their next show being the next night in Jamestown.
“Nice thing about comedy is that you don't always know who you are getting paired up with but these guys have been great and have treated me like they've known me for a long time,” Yaffee said.
To those who would like to donate to Raise the Woof, they have a paypal account under, firstname.lastname@example.org. And for those interested in the Barn Cat Project, you can find more information on their Facebook page or contact Second Chances at secondchancevolunteers.org.