The 11th Annual Stand Up For Heroes event was held at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Stand Up For Heroes is an annual event put together by the New York Comedy Festival and the Bob Woodruff Foundation that kicks off the 2017 New York Comedy Festival. Since it’s inauguration in 2007, Stand Up For Heroes is a night honoring our nation’s injured veterans, service members and their families. During these eleven years SUFH has raised more than $40 million dollars to create positive outcomes for these veterans.
This event has had a long list of notable comedians in the past such as Stephen Colbert, Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams and many more. These comedians perform and bring laughter to the veterans and service members, and are able to show their appreciation for all they have done for our country. At this year’s Stand Up For Heroes event the comedians that were headlining the show were Jon Stewart, Hasan Minhaj, John Oliver, Conan O’Brien, Trevor Noah, and John Mulaney. Some of the wounded service members and veterans that were being honored were Sergeant Israel “DT” Del Toro, Sergeant Deondra Parks, Army Major Ivan Castro, Captain Jen Oh, and Corporal Klonte Storey.
While being in attendance for the red carpet before the event we got a chance to talk to some of the people involved in this year’s Stand Up For Heroes event and these were some of the things they had to say about the event.
“This event means a great deal, my wife was in first combat so doing anything for these group of brave maniacs is a privilege and a lot of fun. They’re a good audience, they laugh a lot. It’s nights like this, it’s these guys, my wife, and anyone who was selfless enough to do something and this level of selflessness is alien to me and I admire it with every bit of my heart.” – John Oliver
“I’ll explain to you why I do this, it’s because when I was growing up I was in high school and there were some older boys I was going out with that were a little bit older and were drafted, and two of them were killed and I will never forget that, cause they didn’t go to college they were drafted at a very young age and served and got killed and that really stuck with me over the years, what happened was, recently when the Iraq war started I was watching George Stephanopoulos on the weekends say in memory of, in memory of and everybody was 19 or 20 years old and I said I really wanted to do something and that’s how this whole thing came about.” – Caroline Hirsch Founder of New York Comedy Festival
“This is such a personal story for these guys, and I think ultimately war is a very personal story and I’ve learned a lot about that in the process of making this and getting to share these guy’s experience and try to bring home that experience to audiences to remind everybody that it’s individuals who go to war, individuals who wait at home by the phone, individual in the communities that are affected when they go abroad, and then to share the premiere night with Stand Up For Heroes this whole thing like it was all meant to be” – Jon Beavers actor and producer of The Long Road Home
“I believe that laughter is therapy, laughter is medicine and you know sometimes its warranted, its needed” – Sergeant Deondra Parks