RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medical Center is ranked as of the top hospitals in Virginia, but on Friday night many of its students will perform in hopes that laughter is really the best medicine.
A group of VCU Medical Center students, known as Rams for Memory, are currently in third place in Hilarity for Charity U, a national fundraising competition for Alzheimer’s research organized by comedian Seth Rogen and actress Lauren Miller.
If the Rams for Memory win the competition by raising the most money for the Alzheimer’s Association, they will win a personal meet and greet with Seth Rogen, among other prizes.
Fifteen acts will perform on Friday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m., at the Hippodrome Theater in Jackson Ward for the fifth annual VCU Talent Show for Charity. The event will raise money for Hilarity for Charity and the Alzheimer’s Association and is co-sponsored by the VCU Medical Student Government and Student Government Associations.
The talent show is put on by all of the students of the MCV Campus: medical, dental, pharmacy, public health, nursing, OT, and PT students will be performing, said David Goldberg, a second-year VCU medical student. Students and faculty will perform in various skits hoping to raise laughs and money for Alzheimer’s research, he said.
Goldberg, whose grandfather died after suffering from Alzheimer’s in 2010, has been involved in Alzheimer’s research for several years. When he was an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, he started an awareness organization called “Hoos for Memory.”
“After he passed, I realized it’s something a lot of people are dealing with,” he said.
In 2011, Rogen and Miller, founded Hilarity for Charity, a show put on by Rogen, in which celebrity performers get together for a comedy Variety Show to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Miller’s family has a long history of Alzheimer’s, including her mother’s diagnosis when Lauren Miller was 25 years old, according to an NBC report.
When Goldberg saw Rogen and Miller’s work with Alzheimer’s research in 2011 he “pestered” them through Twitter until they responded to him, he said. He said he had seen their work with Charity for Hilarity and wanted to get involved.
“They finally got back to me and said that they wanted to expand to colleges but they weren’t ready yet,” Goldberg said.
Goldberg emailed with Miller and the Hilarity for Charity branch of the Alzheimer’s Association for a couple years, he said. This year, the celebrity couple has launched their expansion: Hilarity for Charity U, a nationwide challenge for college students to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“I think this event can be very successful,” Goldberg said. “And it would be a great opportunity to have Seth Rogen come to VCU and start raising awareness among the younger generation.”
“After all, Patch Adams, who believed that laughter is a vital part of medicine, is a graduate of MCV,” he said.
Tickets are $5, food is provided and there is a cash bar. To contribute to the Rams for Memory Charity for Hilarity competition, visit http://www.crowdrise.com/david-hfcu-davidgoldberg.
The MCV Bhangra team made a short introductory video of their act.