Not even a tornado watch or bouts of torrential rain could stop the Comedy Night at the Shoots from going on Saturday night in Goshen.
ADEC Supported Living Direct Support Professional (DSP) “Soul Man Jimmy” Rinehart opened the night with his solo musical stylings. While he expertly played a variety of soul arrangments on his guitar, people could be seen relaxing and enjoying the music while engaging in quiet conversation.
Delmar Birkey, DSP at Building Two, opened the comedy night with his stand-up set. Everyone smiled as he and his grandson started the set with “Uptown Funk.” The laughs kept coming as he shared observations about weight loss, work, his history in stand-up and life in general.
Delmar organized this event as a way to raise funds and create awareness for ADEC clients in need of repairs to wheelchairs or other assistive devices. For some clients, they need entirely new purchases. Waiver services do not provide many if any funds for these purchases, so clients must try to save the money themselves or ask ADEC for help.
The Angel of ADEC fund serves as a source for clients who need help making necessary purchases. A committee meets to discuss needs and awards percentages of the total. The fund has gotten low recently, prompting new efforts to replenish the coffers.
Delmar recently came back to stand-up comedy after taking nearly 20 years off. He has been leading Open Mic Nights with South Bend’s Downtown Comedy Connection and attending workshops to up his game. Hosting the Comedy Night at the Shoots was a perfect alignment of his passions.
Delmar’s colleagues from the Downtown Comedy Connection – Patrick Gaughan, Mike Barnette, Otis “Jay” Boggs and Sean Shank – performed top-notch stand-up sets to an intimate crowd of 20 or so people in the cozy venue.
Everyone laughed as one comedian shared about a recent trip to South Bend’s Potawatomi Zoo to take in local culture. He was thrilled to learn admission was only $9 – “What a deal!” – until he realized it came out to $1 an animal.
Jokes aside, it was a good night to take a step back, laugh and relax at the inviting setting of the Shoots’ Gaining Grounds coffee shop.
Speaking of Gaining Grounds, everyone’s favorite barista, Missy Mast, made and sold delicious handcrafted beverages to the thirsty crowd. Her chilled sea salted caramel chai lattes were the undisputed favorite of the evening as the line remained full right up until the very start of the show.
At the end of the night, Delmar, Soul Man Jimmy and the Downtown Comedy Connection raised more than $200 to benefit ADEC clients. A night well spent.