Troupe for troops: HPAC host ‘Ha-ha for heroes’


The horrors of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 are something that Citrus College rest of the world will never forget.

That terrible day brought many Americans into a new era of concern for national security and safety.

On the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Wise Guys Comedy Troupe is presenting a comedy performance as a way to heal lasting psychological wounds as well as a salute to veterans.

The event titled, “Ha-ha’s for Heroes,” will feature comedians Big Mike Mitchell, Frank Saldamando, Johnny Stweart, Drew Manning, Tommy Rico and  D.A. Jonze taking over the Haugh Performing Arts Center to give back to the victims, families and military service persons who have been affected by the attack on 9/11, the best way they know how–through comedy.

“This is an event that is meant for healing through laughter,” said  Adrian Valenzuela, 26, a Citrus College biology major and former Marine.

“We are doing this for veterans and the healing is going to be transferred through jokes,” Valenzuela said.

Valenzuela is the manager of the WGCT, who performs benefit shows to help provide resources for veterans and their families.

Valenzuela is also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and served in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2009-2010.

“We really are trying to get the younger veterans to join this organization and this comedy show will help,” Valenzuela said.

“This is a comedy show for everybody to watch,” Frank Saldamando, 25, a West Covina resident and comedy performer said.

Drew Manning 33, Montclair resident, said that comedy is his true calling at this point in his life. “I just love to make people laugh and to make people happy so I really enjoy this,” Manning said. Manning will be another performer in the comedy act.

The three comedians will write and perform their own material in individual skits.

The show will be performed Sept. 11, in the Haugh Performing Arts Center, at 8p.m., doors will open at 7p.m.

Tickets cost $10 for general admission or $15 for front row VIP tickets that include a meet and greet with the performers after the show.

They can be purchased at the Veterans Center or online at the Troupe website.

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