With cracks about the ornamental cabbages that decorated the tables of the Somerville Elks Lodge in Bridgewater, and the "sleepiness" of the whole town itself, comedian Uncle Floyd wrestled out broad smiles, rolling eyes and, eventually, lots of laughter at a benefit on Oct. 29.
No one was safe from the comedian's sharp tongue or shameless piano lyrics, not even event hosts the Literacy Volunteers of Somerset County (LVSC).
But it was all in the name of awareness.
For the second year, LVSC presented Laughs for Literacy, featuring Uncle Floyd. The evening began with dinner, then opening remarks by Miss New Jersey Ashleigh Udalovas, a strong advocate for literacy herself.
Following the opening, the evening continued with a sheepishly funny show by Uncle Floyd, culminating with a raffle and closing remarks by LVSC Board President Martha Davis.
The goal of the event was to raise community awareness for the organization.
"We're continuously trying to spread the word in the community that we are here," said Alan Karmin, executive director. "[We want to show] that we have services available to people who need help with literacy in all its forms."
Karmin said the current need for awareness is especially important given the economy and the influx of people into the country who need assistance. To help, he said, the organization has expanded beyond the borders of Somerset County.
The event drew about 100 people, including many local residents. In previous years, Karmin said, the crowd was a little larger, but many followers of Uncle Floyd from throughout New Jersey and the surrounding area attended.
Karmin said he hoped the local attendance would also help spread the word of the organization in the community.
Literacy Volunteers of Somerset County aims to promote literacy throughout the community by providing student-centered tutoring that ultimately helps adults function effectively in their daily lives.