The funny side of BICC
Oct 21, 2012 | 529 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Organizations whose vision and mission target community causes that are both relevant and timely will be among the first to earn the public’s trust and the financial backing of partners at individual and corporate levels.

Credibility, accountability to observers and responsible decision-making in the design of outreach strategies are key to any group — especially nonprofit entities — who strive to make a difference.

But another ingredient to success is finding others who share mutual concerns and who cling to a shared love of community and people, and all that binds the two.

The Bradley Initiative for Church and Community, a 14-year-old think tank whose thinking has always led to positive action and proven results, is an organization with such vision; and now, BICC is welcoming an inspiring voice and friendly face which is certain to broaden the organization’s growing base of support.

He is Charles Marshall, a nationally syndicated humor columnist and author, who will deliver the keynote address at BICC’s annual fundraising banquet scheduled for Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Museum Center at Five Points in downtown Cleveland.

Judging from the numbers, Marshall is no best-kept secret. Rather, he is in high demand. With more than 20 years’ experience, the writer and entertainer travels some 100,000 miles every year to perform in at least 100 corporate and civic venues from one corner of the U.S. to the next — New York to Texas and Washington to Florida. And yes, he has stopped off at many points in between to deliver motivational, inspirational — and funny — routines.

His credentials speak for themselves, but one of Marshall’s strengths is his ability to entertain an audience while sticking to family values and a belief that strong relationships between parents and their children are an opening step along the journey of success for our young people.

Ken Davis, BICC vice president who is co-chairing this year’s BICC fundraising banquet with John Haile, is no stranger to the special guest. Davis has sat in several audiences at different venues to hear Marshall speak about the funnier side of living.

“Charles is able to look at everyday life and share his unique views in such a way that you soon find yourself laughing out loud and anxious to hear the next thing he is going to say,” Davis told our newspaper.

Davis’ next comment about Marshall admittedly perked our ears. “He has an amazing ability to be hilarious while making you think,” Davis said. “I have heard Charles many times, and without fail, people leave his events with a smile on their face and an uplifted spirit because of the laughter and joy they have just experienced.”

An ability to make people laugh at themselves — as we said, the funny parts of life — and to do it while driving home a message, one that leads to an open mind and a warmer heart, is the trademark of a relevant public speaker.

Too often audiences tire of the foul tongues and disrespectful ways of contemporary comics whose oath to humor is merely to make people laugh using whatever means necessary.

Laughter remains the best medicine. We believe it always will be. But with each prescription comes an insightful strength in dosage.

We welcome Charles Marshall to Cleveland and we thank him for coming on behalf of a family-friendly organization like BICC. We eagerly anticipate his message, and his brand of comedy.

For those hoping to attend, tickets remain on sale for $75. Deadline is no later than Friday, Oct. 26. Reservations may be made by calling BICC at 423-559-1112 or sending an email to Executive Director Brenda Hughes at

We urge BICC supporters to attend, not just for the keynote, but for an evening of inspiration for parents and children alike.