Saturday, May 15, 2010


On Saturday, we laughed our way towards new housing for two families in Rushford, Minnesota. I provided the program at a charity event called "Holy Hilari-Tea." Rushford area churches and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans put on this lovely high tea. In addition to ticket sales, there was a silent auction and other sale items to support a new Habitat for Humanity duplex being built in Rushford, which was devastated by flooding two years ago and is still struggling to bring families back to the area after so many homes were lost. The goal of the day was to raise $12,000.

The sell-out crowd of over 150 laughing people rocked the basement of the Rushford Lutheran Church. My husband, William, got these fabulous photos from the tea. Clearly, a good time was had by all. It proves that laughter can raise money as well as joy!

Below is a video of the group saying my original "Laughter Pledge." They are promising to continue their lives joyfully and contribute to world laughter. Yippee!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


To celebrate World Laughter Day, which was established by Dr. Madan Kataria and is observed around the globe on the first Sunday of each May, I went to New York City. I participated in two exciting events designed to bring about world peace through joy, laughter and celebration.

The idea behind this day comes from this famous quote by Dr. Kataria.

The first event on World Laughter Day was The Levity Project (

The Levity Project is a movement to create social change through play, laughter, and celebration. This is how their Web site explains their mission:

We engage in public acts of levity in which people gather in a flash setting to en-lighten the energy of a public place and those within it. They are designed to foster a sense of lightness and connection to all who are present.

"Our goal is to inspire people to see themselves as agents of change and to help create an upward spiral of positivity in our world. We want to create a deeper global understanding that joy, play, laughter, and freedom are integral to our individual and collective success.

Below is a picture of Katie and Ina, the two power-house laughers behind the Levity Project.

For the New York City event, we gathered at Union Square and did a "Smile Freeze" where we all froze in a happy pose for about 3 minutes. It really took the onlookers by surprise and gave them lots of smiles.

Then, we proceeded to laugh on the subway to Grand Central Station, where we laughed and invited others to join our laughter party. This was a huge hit.

After this, we all took another train to Times Square and laughed even more as we rode the train and as we ascended the escalators at the end. It certainly brought levity to the city of New York.

This event got national news coverage on CNN. Click here to see the video.

The second event on World Laughter Day was a peace march from Times Square to the UN Building—a 2 hour journey in which we laughed the whole way, stopping frequently to engage in various laughter yoga exercises and encourage passers by to join us. What a hoot! The symbolic march was a powerful experience reinforcing the idea that laughter yoga is more than just fun—it is an agent of social change. Laughter unites hearts and minds across cultures, races and languages. It does, indeed, have the power to move our world toward peace.