VERONA, N.Y., Sept. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Sixteen comediennes competed in the 2016 Ladies of Laughter Grand Finale before a cheering crowd for cash prizes and comedy club bookings worth well over $5,000 on August 20th at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY.
Two winners were chosen in separate "Professional" and "Newcomer categories" with Boston native, Kelly MacFarland taking home top honors in the "Professional" category and Singapore native and current New York City resident, Jocelyn Chia winning the grand prize in the "Newcomer" category. Both women will now tour with the Ladies of Laughter Funny & Fabulous show that visits theaters nationwide with other past winners. The Runner-ups were Taffy Jaffe, (Newcomer) and Stacy Kendro (Professional).
Winners were chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges that included the Director of Events at the New York Friars Club, Bob Spiotto, Emmy Award winning late night television comedy writer, Chris Albers and the Executive Producer of the Ladies of Laughter competition and tour, Peggy Boyce. The host and emcee for the evening was 2000 Ladies of Laughter Professional winner and national comedy headliner, Tammy Pescatelli.
Beginning in May, close to 150 professional and amateur comediennes applied to the contest, with about half competing at four preliminary events at comedy clubs in New York City, Albany, and West Nyack, New York in July and August.
Here is some background on this year's winners:
Kelly Macfarland- 2016 Professional Ladies of Laughter Winner
As an experienced stand up comedian from the Boston-area, Kelly has an extensive and well-rounded resume including comedy clubs, theaters, colleges and several television appearances. She is currently touring clubs and colleges across the country and has entertained our US Troops. Kelly has appeared on Stand Up in Stilettos on the TV Guide Channel and Comedy Central's Premium Blend. Kelly is the host of the web series, Fit or Fad on www.ulive.com.
Jocelyn Chia- 2016 Newcomer Ladies of Laughter Winner
Originally from Singapore, this former attorney won New York's Funniest Lawyer Contest at Gotham Comedy Club and has appeared in the Chicago Women In Comedy Festival. She talks about growing up in a family where she has to be the "hard-working" daughter.
Since it was first introduced into comedy clubs in 1999, the Ladies of Laughter series has awarded theater and comedy club bookings, major publicity and thousands of dollars to aspiring comediennes and has been a driving force behind women getting to the next level in their comedy careers. Past contestants include Amy Schumer, The Big Bang Theory's, Melissa Rauch and national headliner, Tammy Pescatelli.
2016 Ladies of Laughter sponsors included Turning Stone Resort Casino, Stage Time Magazine, and Skinnygirl Cocktails. A percentage of proceeds from the events benefited Buddy Cares – an animal rights advocacy group that provides wellness and services to abandoned animals in need.
Host and sponsor of the 2016 Ladies of Laughter Grand Finale on August 20, Turning Stone Resort Casino is one of the top five tourist destinations in New York, attracting more than 4.5 million visitors a year.
A renowned, award-winning destination resort in Upstate New York, Turning Stone Resort Casino offers world-class amenities including four hotels, two luxurious spas, five beautiful golf courses, more than 20 restaurants and dining options, a 120,000 square foot Las Vegas-style gaming floor, a cabaret-style Showroom, a 5,000 seat arena, and several bars, cocktail lounges and nightlife venues. Conveniently located 30 miles east of Syracuse at NYS Thruway exit 33, Turning Stone was named "Best Countryside Hotel/Lodge" in 2015 and "Most Excellent Golf Resort" in 2010 by Condé Nast Johansens and has earned the prestigious Forbes Four Star Award for The Lodge, Forbes Recommended Ratings for TS Steakhouse and Wildflowers restaurants and, for 11 consecutive years, the AAA Four Diamond Award for The Lodge, The Tower Hotel, and Wildflowers restaurant.
For more information about Ladies of Laughter, go to www.ladiesoflaughter.org
CONTACT: Margaret Boyce
Ladies of Laughter, Inc.
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SOURCE Ladies of Laughter, Inc.