Lexington comedy benefit comes to the aid of Nepal

Destroyed land and collapsed homes were projected onto a white screen; in front of the screen, light-hearted comedy took the stage for laughs and for Nepal.

The Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice and the Forum of Nepalese in America, or FONA, hosted Comedy for a Cause: Benefit for Nepal on Thursday in the Fellowship Hall of Central Christian Church. About 40 people attended.

In addition to comedians, three Nepalese women presented traditional dances in traditional wear as audiences clapped to the music.

Proceeds from the benefit will be sent to aid Nepal, which is in the midst of recovering from a disastrous April 25 earthquake and a May 12 aftershock. Thousands of homes were destroyed, leaving many Nepalese citizens without shelter, and more than 8,500 lives were lost.

About $600 was raised for Nepal at the benefit, said Steve Katz, treasurer of the Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice. Donations are still being accepted.

FONA will send members of Central Kentucky's Nepalese community to Nepal to help in the rebuilding effort, according to a news release.

Joshua Coffman, a Central Kentucky comedian and social activist, came up with the idea.

Coffman said he heard the news about the earthquake on Facebook.

"I knew that something needed to be done quickly because people were going to forget about it," he said.

Coffman decided to raise money by setting up the comedy show.

FONA president Prakash Aryal said he was thankful for all those who came out to send support to Nepal.

"We cannot rebuild the lost lives," Aryal said. "But we can certainly rebuild the enterprise sectors and buildings again."

Coffman said he was pleased with the turnout and hoped to continue raising money.

"The real work comes after this," he said. "Of people sharing and letting people really know about this."