Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I am very pleased to announce that nationally known comedian, Rene' Bray, will be joining me on "Eastside Now!" August 4, 2010. Rene' is a friend of mine who originally hails from Wilmington, Ohio, which is my hometown. She has been a successful stand up comedian for many years, and continually uses her celebrity to assist charitable organizations. Rene' has agreed to co-host my show for the entire 11-1 time slot, and will be sharing details of her latest goodwill tour to benefit "Lawyers for Warriors".

Many military personnel are struggling with legal issues back home in the United States while serving their country overseas. It is time for the American people to ban together and help these service men and women in their time of crisis. There is a newly formed Florida-based non-profit organization called Lawyers for Warriors. Their mission is to provide pro bono legal services to members of the United States armed forces, especially those who are deployed to hostile fire zones. They also provide legal help to recently returned veterans and their families. Even though Lawyers for Warriors just started in January this year, it is getting new cases every day. For example, a special forces officer in Afghanistan sent an email to the organization in need of help. He had been living with his family in Tampa when he was deployed. Because of his deployment, he moved his family back to his hometown in another state. The property management company now wants the balance of his lease, as well as refusing to return his security deposit. In another case, a soldier who had been injured and paralyzed while serving in Afghanistan, was served his foreclosure papers while recovering in the hospital. The suicide rate for military troops deployed to Iraq is on the rise. Investigators have found that financial problems, failed relationships and legal issues were the main reasons why they took their lives.

Rene' Bray, a comedian in Florida who tours the United States, who has been featured on several talk shows, is combining efforts with Johnny Mac, a comedian in Jacksonville who hosts "The Johnny Mac Show," to bring the "Stand Ups for the Troops Comedy Tour". This tour has been scheduled in many comedy clubs throughout the United States to raise money for Lawyers for Warriors. The tour kicks off July 13 in St. Petersburg, FL. In Ohio, the duo will be appearing at the Funny Bone in Dayton August 11, and the Funny Bone in Cincinnati August 18. Log on to www.lawyersforwarriors.org to get ticket information for the tour.

Bray will cause a lot of laughter at the comedy show, but most importantly, she will help everyone to feel a sense of patriotism. She is proud of her military experiences. Her father served in the Navy and stepfather retired from the Air Force. "Many of my friends' children are serving. I have met many amazing service people through the years while doing comedy at different military installations. Most memorable is a comedy tour at Gitmo in Cuba," explained Bray. She has been performing comedy for more than 20 years, and has appeared on television shows such as Geraldo, Montel Williams, Jenny Jones, Rolando and ABC's 20/20. She has testified before the Senate, and is a strong advocate against child sexual assault in addition to supporting the military. "I wanted to help with this charity for several reasons. First, I know people involved and their dedication is immeasurable. Second, it is my way of giving back, which I think is very important. Most of all, there is a very healing power to laughter, and I think everyone needs a huge dose of that medicine right now," shared Bray.

Mac also has several years of experience as a comedian, and has performed in numerous comedy clubs and colleges. He echoes Bray's sentiments in supporting the American troops. "Many of our soldiers are coming back from the war, only to find their own personal war here at home with legal issues, foreclosures and more. We are here to help and hopefully you can join us," said Mac. Special guests will also join Bray and Mac at the different venues. It is definitely a show you won't want to miss.

I've personally seen her on stage. Her stage performance is unforgettable and hilarious. She saunters onto the stage with a shy smile and old fashion southern charm. She manages to explain parts of her life, and the lives of others, with biting wit that leaves the audiences laughing, even after the show is over.

Besides her television appearances, she has opened for recording artists Little Texas, Billy Ray Cyrus, Steppenwolf, KC and the Sunshine Band, The Redhot Chili Peppers, REO Speedwagon and Taylor Dane. Rene' opens and emcees for The Chippendale Dancers and Suncoast Calendar Men. She has headlined in over 500 comedy clubs in the USA, Canada and Caribbean Islands, and was the first comedian to perform at Guantanamo Bay Cuba.

So tune in on August 4, and have lunch with Rene' Bray and Dianne Garrett. It could be one of the most entertaining lunch you've ever had!

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