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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Poverty Awareness Week starts today with comedy

    Despite a lackluster response from state legislators, Campaign Against Poverty organizers hope to generate awareness of world poverty among Arizonans.

    The campaign is kicking off its first Poverty Awareness Week today to raise money for the people of Darfur, according to event officials.

    The first big event will be a comedy show in Gallagher Theater tonight at 8. The week ends Thursday night with a benefit dinner and guest speakers, said Deema Tabbara, a political science senior and founder and president of the campaign.

    But of the 90 legislators Tabbara contacted in her quest to find a speaker for the benefit dinner, only one responded.

    Arizona Rep. David Bradley, D-Tucson, will be speaking at the benefit dinner Thursday from 7-9 p.m. in the North Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center. Some of Bradley’s main platforms concern poverty and violence.

    Tabbara said she will not let the tepid response from state representatives deter her.

    “”I was told trying to raise money without a big-name celebrity would not work,”” Tabbara said. “”We are trying to prove that we can raise money because people actually care about the cause.””

    The campaign members will be on the UA Mall today preselling tickets to the “”Laugh for a Cause”” comedy show, which costs $5. Tickets can also be purchased at the door, and all of the proceeds will be donated to helping the people of Darfur, a region in Sudan currently wracked by genocide.

    “”Poverty Awareness Week will focus on global poverty in general, but we chose to donate all the money we make to Darfur because they are the most in need right now,”” Tabbara said.

    Brian Neufang and Johnny Svarzbein, both UA graduates, and Dan Goff will perform comedy tonight, along with The Charles Darwin Experience, a UA comedy club that performs in The Cellar in the SUMC every Tuesday at 10:15 p.m.

    “”They are all doing this for free,”” Tabbara said. “”It was really nice of them.””

    The campaign will also have global poverty awareness information and the One Campaign Declaration for people to sign on the UA Mall today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The One Campaign is a global campaign to fight poverty and global AIDS.

    “”Some of the Lost Boys of Sudan are also coming to give some perspective of what it is like to be a refugee,”” Tabbara said.

    The dinner is $30 for students with a CatCard and $50 for general admission. Proceeds will also go to

    Tabbara said club members have been planning this week since February.

    “”I wanted to do this because the UA has never had a poverty week before, and a lot of other campuses around the country have done it,”” Tabbara said. “”I really hope it’s something that continues in the future years.””

    Starting next week, Campaign Against Poverty will also be starting a book drive for the organization Books for Africa. Bins will be placed around campus, and anyone can donate new or used books that will be sent directly to Sudan.

    Dinner seats are still available. For more information on purchasing tickets, visit

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