Make a Difference Week: Cancer, Sustainability, Camden Youth
As part of Make a Difference Week, Steve Adubato talks to three NJ leaders: Saranne Rothberg, Leslie Engle Young and Tawanda Jones. Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with Saranne Rothberg, who laughed in the face of cancer and now helps others understand that Comedy Cures. Leslie Engle Young, Director of Impact at Pencils of Promise, talks to Steve Adubato about how the organization works to bring sustainable education facilities to children in Laos, Guatemala and Ghana. Steve Adubato speaks with Tawanda Jones, Co-Founder of the Camden Sophisticated Sisters, a dance, drum and step drill team that has become a creative outlet for thousands of children in the city.
"We are pleased to, here on One on One, to welcome back our good friend Saranne Rothberg, who is the founder of the Comedy Cures Foundation. Good to see you. Hi! Good to see you. Now this organization is such a great organization, people are gonna see the website up several times, the 2003 Russ Berrie Awards For Making a Difference...? That's when we met. Yeah. Tell folks what the foundation is, so they'll understand why it's so important. So Comedy Cures brings therapeutic entertainment around the world, to the ill and underserved. So we go to hospitals, we go to camps for ill kids, we go to battered women's shelters, bombing victims, military returning injured from different war zones. And we bring joy, and we bring fun, and we bring play again. Yeah. But it started when and why? It started from my chemo chair. Hmm. And I decided to throw a chemo comedy party. Go back a little bit. You were diagnosed...? Well misdiagnosed in '93. Right. And then diagnosed in 1999, and I just was given less than a five year life expectancy, and I was a single mom going through a divorce, and I said, "If this is my my life, then I'm gonna leave a legacy of joy and fun and hope and service for my daughter." That little girl is now 23. She's 23? She's 23 and she's working. That's amazing. She is. And do you ever try to calculate, Saranne, how many performances you have done on behalf of this foundation? We're under 2,000 for sure. We're over a million people worldwide. Multiple continents. Yeah, and a lot of my guys you interview! Absolutely, a lot of these people come through here. Yeah. And then make the connection back with you. Yeah. How did you know...? I've asked you this before, but I don't want to assume people... you go back on our website, you see past interviews that you've done with us, how did you know that it was going to be a big part of your life's work to help other people while you were struggling yourself with recovering? Well, it was really working for us. I mean my daughter and I just found so much joy, and everybody was asking us, "What are you doing? What are you doing?"..."