Fundraiser for Randy Gener goes to Brooklyn

LOVE, LAUGHTER-7 Committed journalism and comedy combine in a March 24 event to raise funds for Nathan Award-winning writer Randy Gener, who is currently recovering from a brutal attack he suffered in January.

Police said Gener was assaulted by one Leighton Jennings in the early morning of January 18 following an altercation between Gener and a woman who was with the suspect. Gener, also a theater artist, underwent a brain surgery resulting from the severe head trauma. His family and friends are worried that insurance may not cover all of his hospital expenses.

The fundraising event billed as “An evening of learning, laughter and love for Randy Gener” will be held at Purple Yam on 1314 Cortelyou Road in Brooklyn. It will feature a talk by journalist and Columbia University Prof. Sheila Coronel and a comedy skit by SPIT or the Silly People’s Improv Theater, Manila’s premiere improv group.

Coronel, director of the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University, will speak on the November 2009 Ampatuan massacre where 32 journalists were killed by armed men in the employ of the powerful Ampatuan family who ruled the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao. “They kill journalists, don’t they?” is the theme of her presentation.

“It was, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, ‘the single deadliest event for journalists in history,’” said Coronel, who sits on the board of the CPJ.

She will provide an update on what has happened since the gruesome mass murders and why journalism continues to be a dangerous profession, not just in the Philippines, but in other parts of the world.

SPIT, which is currently on a U.S. tour, will represent the Philippines in the New York Improv Festival of March 19-23. Comprising about a dozen performers and professionals from varied fields, SPIT was founded in 2002 by Gabe Mercado and some of his friends. Mercado trained with legendary Second City founder Paul Sills at the Wisconsin Theater Game Center.

“Randy has always been a good friend and very supportive of many of my projects at Purple Yam. When he became a victim of this horrific act, we had to act to offset this violent act with kindness. We want Randy to heal and look forward to an empowered career in journalism
after rehab,” said Purple Yam owner Amy Besa on why this event is being organized.

To RSVP, contact

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