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The Blue & Gray Press | February 23, 2018

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Students Stand Up For Breast Cancer Research at Annual ‘Haha’s for Tata’s’

Students Stand Up For Breast Cancer Research at Annual ‘Haha’s for Tata’s’

By MATTHEW BLAIR

Breast cancer is no laughing matter, unless you’re hosting a comedy show to raise money for breast cancer research.

“Haha’s for Tata’s,” the annual student organized breast cancer research fund raiser, is in its fourth year and this year was better than ever. The event was held in the Great Hall and drew over 300 students, which meant a packed house. It also raised over $600 through the $1 admission fee and t-shirt sales.

The crowd was warmed up and astonished by incredible feats of strength, performed by “The American Strong Woman” Mama Lou. She was able to roll a frying pan into a burrito, do one-armed push and pull-ups, and crush apples into applesauce with the power of her biceps. It’s really motivational to watch a woman rip a phone book in half while Bonnie Tyler’s “I Need A Hero” plays in the background. Most of all, Mama Lou delivered an incredibly touching message by closing out her set by telling the crowd, “If you believe in yourself, and you never give up, you can do absolutely anything.”

After the solid performance of the Strong Woman, the crowd was ready to be wowed by the bitingly crisp and witty student comedians: Chris Vellucci, Maura Monahan, Russell Michelson, Michaela Godfrey, Josh Lawson, Isaac Whalen, Mary-Cait Nannery, Kyle Phalen and Annie Blaine, with an alumni guest, Bryan . The laughs kept rolling through the night.

Stand-out performers were Josh Lawson and freshman Kyle Phalen. Lawson started his set peppering the crowd with humorous one-liners, television and movie references, and his questioning of why sailors in the old days may have had sexual relations with manatees. Phalen delivered the knock-out punch with his Mitch Hedberg-esque style of dry delivery.

However, all of the other performers were funny in their own right, leading to what Maura Monhan called “Giggles for Titties,” as the entire crowd laughed throughout the night.

Most important was that the Mary Washington student body had a chance to relax and enjoy themselves, while donating to a worthwhile cause. It is imperative that we as a campus take a stand and do all that is possible to help a noble cause such as exterminating breast cancer, and “Haha’s for Tata’s” gave students exactly that opportunity.

Image courtesy of Kathleen Watson