(BALTIMORE, October 1, 2023) — When Baltimore resident Allan Sidley was 10 months old his father died of a heart attack leaving his mom a young widow and a single mom to raise him by herself.
This was not Sidley’s first encounter with heart disease. His maternal grandfather and namesake died in 1986 from a second heart attack, his beloved uncle died in 2012 of congestive heart failure, his other beloved uncle recently died after a sudden cardiac arrest, and his maternal grandmother and aunt had heart attacks that they survived.
“Heart attacks have had a devastating impact on my family,” explains Sidley. “Dealing with this level of loss has been difficult. Having a baby girl of my own now makes my family history extra scary, but I’m determined to stick around!”
Using his wit, talent, and fiery passion for comedy, he has become one of 10 local Leaders of Impact for the American Heart Association, “to be a force for a world of longer, healthier lives for everyone!”
The importance of raising money and awareness for heart disease cannot be underestimated.
“Cardiovascular disease remains the No. 1 killer of people in Maryland and across the nation, and oftentimes disadvantaged communities do not have the same level of access to healthcare systems as those who are more fortunate,” said Larry L. Johnson, the chairman of the American Heart Association, Baltimore and Greater Maryland Division Board of Directors. He is also a past top fundraiser for the Leaders of Impact campaign.
The Leaders of Impact initiative engages community leaders across 150 cities to take part in a seven-week challenge to improve health by raising awareness and funds to support the life-saving work of the American Heart Association.
The upcoming HAHA for Heart Health: A Benefit Comedy Show for the American Heart Association will feature up to three comedians as well as a medical professional to open the show. These events will take place at four different Busboys & Poets locations in the Washington, D.C., and Suburban Maryland areas.
A bestselling humor writer, sketch artist, entrepreneur, and stand-up comic, Sidley is proud to report that 100% of ticket sale proceeds will to go the AHA. But the events are looking for sponsors to help cover the cost of room rental and hilarious talent. These sponsors will get some nice shoutouts before/during/after the show.
“I’m looking forward to this series because it will be different. I will talk openly about how heart issues have impacted my family,” he said. “These performances will show that we’re serious before getting silly and doing comedy. Also, noted studies have shown laughter reduces blood pressure! So let’s raise money while lowering our blood pressure.”
So, what does this proud father wish for his daughter who turns one in December? “Ultimately, I want her to have the opportunities I had,” Sidley says, “but with TWO awesome, supportive parents. She’s already extremely smart, so the sky’s the limit; if she wants it to be.”
IF YOU GO:
Link to Eventbrite to navigate to the five shows: https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/haha-for-heart-health-a-benefit-comedy-series-2685519
Dates, times, and locations for HaHa for Heart Health:
- Friday, October 13 at Busboys & Poets Takoma – Doors 730, Show 8 – 235 Carroll Street Northwest Washington, DC 20012
- Friday, October 20 at Busboys & Poets Anacostia – Doors 730, Show 8 – 2004 Martin Luther King Junior Avenue Southeast Washington, DC 20020
- Friday, November 3 at Busboys & Poets Hyattsville – Doors 730, Show 8 – 5331 Baltimore Avenue Hyattsville, MD 20781
- Saturday, November 11 at Busboys & Poets Columbia – Doors 730, Show 8 – 6251 Mango Tree Road Columbia, MD 21044
- Sunday, November 12 at Busboys & Poets 14 & V (DC) – Doors 630, Show 7 – 2021 14th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20009
A link to Allan Sidley’s Fundraising Page:
My fundraising page: http://www2.heart.org/goto/allansidley