Tomasulo uses standup as a force for good

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Amy and Pat Tomasulo

When Pat Tomasulo discovered that his wife, Amy, had trigeminal neuralgia, the WGN-TV sports anchor and local standup comedian refused to take the diagnosis lying down. The debilitating facial nerve condition has left Amy in constant pain, and he was determined to do whatever he could to help find a cure.

“TN damages the largest nerve in a person’s face, causing excruciating, bring-you-to-your-knees pain,” Tomasulo explains. “Amy has had it since 2001, and it has left her disabled, unable to work or really live any kind of normal life whatsoever.”

Relying on Tomasulo’s vast network of fans, the anchor and his wife launched “Laugh Your Face Off!” in 2015. What began as a self-funded event has evolved into a well-oiled fundraising machine that has poured $3.1 million in donations into trigeminal neuralgia research.

This year’s event will take place on Sept. 23 at Park West and is expected to attract 700-plus attendees, with thousands more viewing the livestream. Tickets sell out quickly, but sponsorships are available.

“These sponsorships are really the backbone of our fundraising, helping us raise $517K last year,” Tomasulo says. “I can’t stress enough how unique, personal and special this event is. It’s what helps us attract dozens of sponsors every year. Last year was our most ever, with 90-plus, and the exposure the event provides is also pretty outstanding.”

For details, click here.


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Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

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