Stand up For Synergy with Jim Belushi

COMEDY LEGEND JIM BELUSHI & THE CHICAGO BOARD OF COMEDYTO BE FEATURED AT THIS YEAR'S STAND UP FOR SYNERGY FUNDRAISER Zona Rosa Community Foundation’s Comedy Fundraiser for Synergy Services Set for Oct. 26

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Zona Rosa is delighted to announce comedy legend Jim Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy as its seventh annual celebrity comedian to be featured at its charity fundraiser to benefit Synergy Services. Belushi and members of Chicago Board of Comedy take to the stage an improvised sketch comedy show bringing tons of laughs that won’t leave a dry eye in the house.

Stand Up for Synergy will attract more than 400 attendees on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Improv Comedy Club at Zona Rosa.

More than 30 years in show business, alumnus of “Saturday Night Live” and Chicago’s famed Second City, Belushi continues to make his mark on the world of comedy. As the star, music composer, director and executive producer of the ABC hit comedy “According to Jim,” he is a favorite of film, television and stage audiences. The show reached 182 episodes at the end of the final eighth season.

Accompanying Belushi are Robert Belushi, Larry Joe Campbell, Jon Barinholtz and Brad Morris, all of whom are professional improvisers who tour nationwide.

This annual comedy event, which began in 2007, presented by the Zona Rosa Community Foundation raises funds for Kansas-City based Synergy Services. The charity’s mission is to end family violence through crisis response, shelter, counseling, advocacy and education. The comedy fundraising gala will offer sponsors a full evening of hilarity, including a cocktail reception, a live auction (featuring one-of-a-kind items), dinner in the comedy club, and of course the feature presentation: an exclusive comedy routine by this one-of-a-kind improv troupe.

"The Zona Rosa Community Foundation is proud to be the presenting sponsor of Stand Up for Synergy again this year," said Rosemary Salerno, general manager of Zona Rosa. "Every year it's exciting to be able to bring another big name act to Kansas City who will create a tremendous night and of course raise the much needed funds for such a worthy cause."

Community leaders Josh Mitchem with Karen and Sean Miller will serve as chairpersons for the event this year.

Jim Belushi always knew he had a spark for the world of entertainment. During high school, one of Belushi’s teachers noticed his knack for improvisation. He urged Belushi to audition for a school play. After that he decided to join the school's drama club.

He attended the College of Dupage and graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in speech and theater arts. During 1976 he became a resident member of Chicago's famed Second City. Writer-producer Garry Marshall saw Belushi performing for Second City and arranged for him to come to Hollywood and co-star in the TV Pilot "Who's Watching the Kids" for Paramount. Later, in 1983, he joined the cast of Saturday Night Live for two years.

Belushi has come a long way since Second City and his early roles. Some of his major roles arose in 2000 when he co-starred in MGM's "Return to Me" directed by Bonnie Hunt and starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver. His work with Gregory Hines in Showtime’s “Who Killed Atlanta’s Children?” resulted in rave reviews from critics.

Not only did Belushi captivate the movie and television screen, he dazzled the Broadway scene too. Belushi has performed on Broadway in Herb Gardner's acclaimed "Conversations with My Father,” off-Broadway in "True West," for the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of John Guare's "Moon Over Miami” and for Joseph Papp as the Pirate King in "Pirates of Penzance. Most recently in 2011, he performed in Garson Kanin's “Born Yesterday.” In addition he does voiceovers for film, television and commercials.

After doing much film, acting and comedy work Belushi decided to add another trait to his repertoire. He performs with his band, The Sacred Hearts. With little time left outside of his jack-of-all-trades career and his family, Belushi still provides time to dedicate to others. He has made a major commitment as a founder and member of the board of the John Belushi Scholarship Fund, which supports college and college-prep students pursuing a direction in performing and visual arts education. Jim has added author to his repertoire, with his first book entitled "Real Men Don't Apologize." He gives advice on how to do just about everything, from picking up women and choosing your friends to sticking up for yourself and how not to apologize.

Belushi now resides in Los Angeles with his wife Jennifer, two sons and one daughter.

Stand Up for Synergy seating is very limited. Companies or individuals interested in sponsorships should contact Synergy Services Stand Up Hotline at 816-505-4907 or email standup@synergyservices.org or visit www.standupforsynergy.org for more details.

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