WHITMAN — Two years after his “Rock & Comedy for a Cause,” show in Brockton raised close to $15,000 for the Jett Foundation which funds Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy medical research, Whitman native Mark Chauppetta is planning an even bigger event at Plymouth Memorial Hall.
“Komedy for a Kause,” will feature a stellar lineup of Bay State comic talent with Lenny Clarke, Steve Sweeney, Jackie the Joke Man Martling, Johnny Pizzi, Jerry Thornton, Christine Hurley and Richie Minervini taking the stage at the 1,300-seat hall, 83 Court St. Plymouth on Friday, Oct. 14.
The fundraising goal this time out is $40,000 or more. Doors open at 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $39.99 with $60 VIP tickets including a before the show meet-and-greet with the comics and appetizers available. A 50/50 raffle will also be conducted and a sports paraphernalia company will be on site, operating on consignment.
“The first show was such a success — it was a sell-out — that I needed a bigger venue,” said Chauppetta, a 1987 W-H graduate whose 21-year-old twin sons have Duchenne. “This is probably the biggest show, aside from Dennis Leary’s Comedy Comes Home every November at TD Bank Garden.”
Boston legends Clarke and Sweeney, who headline the show, are known for their support of charitable causes throughout Massachusetts.
“Lenny Clarke is one of the nicest, most charitable guys you will ever meet,” Chauppetta said.
Thornton is a “local guy turned sports radio personality” at WEEI and a former Hingham court officer, Chauppetta said. Martling is featured on the Howard Stern radio show and Hurley, from Plymouth, riffs on the “bad mom” ethos.
“She is becoming, bar none, the best female comic in the industry right now,” he said of Hurley, who is a sweet-natured mother of five off stage. “All Christine Hurley does is [dump] on her husband Jimmy Hurley. She’s so funny and a little blue.”
Minervini is a friend and frequent costar of “Mall Cop” actor Kevin James. Pizzi, who was on the last show lineup returns for another outing.
“He was so impressed with the last show he asked to be on my board for the next one,” Chauppetta said, and helped book the acts, all of whom are appearing for a reduced fee.
Chauppetta said he is now working fully with the Jett Foundation, which exclusively works toward supporting research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
The erstwhile Jerry Lewis Telethons, in comparison, raised hundreds of millions of dollars, but the funds were divided amid work on behalf of all the neuromuscular diseases — numbering more than 20.
His sons, now 21, are still doing well and drive an adaptive vehicle.
“They live life, they love life and they don’t let life get them down,” Chauppetta said. “I instill a lot of that in them.”
He proudly notes that his sons are two of the best wheelchair soccer players in the world, playing on a team that won the national championship in Indiana this summer.
“They’re no different than any ambulatory, normal person,” he said. “Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy attacks their muscles, it doesn’t attack their cognitive ability.”
Duchenne is almost genetic-specific to boys, although there are a few rare cases of females with the disease.
Chauppetta has taken an extremely active role in fundraising for research and patient care — including mixed martial arts bouts each year.
“I’ve been raising money for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy since they were diagnosed,” he said. “I’ve done everything from cage fighting to wrestling events. I’m a hands-on fundraiser. Now that I’m 47, I figure it’s time to shift toward less violence and more laughter.”
Chauppetta said downtown Plymouth, aside from featuring a large performance hall for the event, is a revitalized town center with several excellent restaurants. With tourism season ended, parking should be easier to find.
Once again, Yale Appliance and Lighting of Dorchester has again contributed a large sum to help defray expenses for the event.
Chauppetta, who grew up on Warren Avenue in Whitman, now lives in Carver and works in Brockton but is one of the coaches for the Hanson Warriors Youth Football program in which his 10-year-old son plays. He is also a W-H youth wrestling coach.