JACKSON TWP.  GiGi’s Playhouse Canton hosted its annual fundraiser, Brew Ha Ha, on Oct. 12 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Jackson Township.  It was a fun evening of hors d'oeuvres, a full bar, desserts and a silent and live auction.

The event featured The Improvaneers, the world's first all Down syndrome improvisation troupe, and nationally known comedian Scott Long. Proceeds from the event went to GiGi’s Playhouse Canton and its mission to provide free therapeutic and educational programming for individuals with Down syndrome.

“Our goal this evening is to raise $30,000," said Coordinator Rachel DuPont. "We raise the funds through ticket sales, the auctions and we have a raffle this evening for a one-week stay in a condo in Florida, plus $1,000. We have all kinds of items for the auctions including a coach purse, a beer basket and a Fat Head’s basket. We hold a fundraiser every season. Our next one will be Feb. 7 at La Pizzeria. The highlight will be the Cleveland Keys performing dueling pianos.”

Hundreds of  people stopped by the event throughout the evening. Most were out with friends or spouses to enjoy an evening out, listen to some good comedy and help out a good cause.

GiGi’s Playhouse is the only international network of Down Syndrome Achievement Centers, with more than 46 brick and mortar locations across the United States and Mexico and 200 inquiries to start new locations across the world. Every day, GiGi’s Playhouse changes lives by providing free therapeutic, educational and career training programs for individuals of all ages.

From prenatal diagnosis to career skills, GiGi’s makes a lifetime commitment to families. GiGi’s helps maximize opportunities for daily achievement and lasting acceptance. The organization also helps advance a vital social impact goal by showing the world what individuals with Down syndrome can achieve as students, co-workers, volunteers, friends, and valued members of their communities.

“All of our programming is offered free to participants," DuPont said. "Without our supporters and sponsors we couldn’t offer the programming to participants. People who would like to volunteer or make a donation can do so online. Any participant who wants to join us can just stop in.”

Located at 4061 Bradley Circle NW in Jackson Township, GiGi’s Playhouse Canton was the 44th Playhouse in the U.S. and Mexico. Hours are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

For more information about free programs, volunteerism, impact partnerships, events and the many ways to support our families, visit http://www.gigisplayhouse.org/canton.