By Amy Woods

A husband and father of three young children who simultaneously has emerged as a quick-witted comedian out of Chicago will headline this year’s Laugh with the Library.
10063257466?profile=RESIZE_180x180Pat McGann is a last-minute fill-in for James Austin Johnson, who had a conflict with the event’s rescheduled date of Feb. 25, from Feb. 4.
“Yes, last week we had to change comedians when James Austin Johnson was suddenly not able to make our new scheduled date due to a conflict with the changing SNL schedule,” Kae Jonsons, the Delray Beach Public Library’s director of development and community relations, said of Saturday Night Live’s newest cast member. “James will be performing at the 2023 Laugh with the Library.”
The biggest fundraiser of the year for the nonprofit institution was canceled in 2021 because of the pandemic and was postponed this month for the same reason. The goal is to raise at least $100,000.
“It’s really hard when you don’t have your annual fundraiser,” co-chairwoman Alissa Rabin said. “We would love to see the guests be generous with everything that is going on.”
Proceeds from Laugh with the Library will go toward the purchase of materials. Not only has the pandemic led to an increase in demand, but the cost of books and especially digital literature has more than quadrupled.
“I think it is very important for the community to support the library,” Rabin said. “It offers some amazing services.”
She has patronized the library and been a volunteer for nearly a decade after seeing the difference it made in the eyes of her daughter. Blake, now 10, attends Gulf Stream School.
“It was a great way to get her interested in reading and exploring different books that she might not be offered at school or might not be aware of,” Rabin said. “It’s a great way for children to meet other children and for young families to meet other young families.”
McGann will fit the bill perfectly during the show at the Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa, she said.
“The event has definitely grown in size and really attracted a nice young crowd and a good mix of parents from local schools,” Rabin said. “It’s not your traditional black-tie dinner. You get to be dressed a little more casually, you get to walk around and socialize a little bit, and you get to hear a really funny comedian.
“With the world the way it is right now, everyone needs a good laugh.”


If You Go
What: Laugh with the Library
When: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Feb. 25
Where: Opal Grand Oceanfront Resort & Spa, 10 N. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach
Cost: $400
Information: 561-266-0798 or www.delraylibrary.org.

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