Comedy night fundraiser nets over $7K for North Fork Animal Welfare League

An event entitled “Dirty Paws” was held Friday at Greenport Harbor Brewing Company in Peconic, aiming to help more than one great cause, as the North Fork Animal Welfare League and Project 9 Line teamed up to present a night of comedy. 

The sold out 90-minute show featured stand-up routines by three members of The Veterans Comedy Assault Team. Event proceeds will benefit NFAWL’s shelters in Riverhead and Southold.

“This was our first fundraising event since COVID,” said NFAWL operations director Gabby Glantzman. “We last did a comedy show about 10 years ago and the idea of doing another one was thrown around ever since. These comedians volunteered to perform and Greenport Harbor Brewing Company offered their location to host the event, which we appreciate greatly.”

NFAWL is a non-for-profit, no-kill shelter for animals on the East End of Long Island. For over 50 years the organization has worked to rescue dogs, cats and other pets suffering neglect and helped them find new loving homes. The League will use these funds to prepare pets for adoption and transport animals from kill shelters to their local facilities. In 2022, NFAWL rescued more than 750 animals , almost double that of the previous year. 

Friday’s performers — Quentin Davis, “Tugboat” Manny Boujad and Ray Negron — are part of the Islip-based non-for-profit Project 9 Line, which is dedicated to treating soldiers with PTSD through fine arts. The organization offers courses such as art, yoga and guitar. The three veterans on stage Friday chose to pursue stand-up, a difficult skill to master even for the funniest of people. Aspiring comedians practice for months before “graduating” from the program, which entails performing live at a VFW post in the city or on Long Island. Those who wish to continue pursuing their craft become members of The Veterans Comedy Assault Team.

“It’s an honor to perform in front of a sizable audience, let alone a sold-out crowd,” Mr. Negron said in a pre-show interview. “I couldn’t be happier to help out.”

The two groups came together through a mutual connection. Sherri Parkhurst, NFAWL’s volunteer and events coordinator, has known Mr. Negron since childhood and they’ve remained close for nearly 50 years.

“We were so happy when Ray offered to perform with his group,” said Ms. Parkhurst. “We are glad this event was able to come together and so many people in our community wanted to share some laughs and support a good cause.”

In addition to enjoying comedians, attendees could participate in a chinese auction, placing purchased raffle tickets in paw-print-decorated bags for a chance to win one of 24 gift baskets donated by local businesses, or shoot for a cash prize of more than $400 in a 50-50- raffle. 

“We hope to do monthly events this year,” said NFAWL media manager Melissa Martin. “We have a few planned out that may allow our furry friends at the shelters to join in on the fun.”