Local realtors host comedy night to benefit cancer patients

Attendees laugh as comedians entertain at the Circle of Hope Night of Comedy fundraiser held at The Oaks Club in Stevenson Ranch on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Debbie Ragonig has a family history of cancer.

“Everyone’s been touched by it,” she said.

She’s also positive for the BRCA1 gene, which significantly increases the risk of developing breast cancer, and recently underwent a few preventative surgeries.

That’s why Ragonig joined the board of Circle of Hope, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to those fighting cancer in Santa Clarita, and came up with the idea for A Night of Comedy.

“We could all use a good laugh — there’s too much stress in the world,” Ragonig said.

The Rod McIntosh team of realtors at eXp Realty, who Ragonig is a member of, hosted its first A Night of Comedy event on Friday, April 19, at The Oaks Club in Valencia to benefit Circle of Hope.

Comedian Marty Ross entertains at the Circle of Hope Night of Comedy fundraiser held at The Oaks Club in Stevenson Ranch on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

“We both had a lot of people that we’ve lost to cancer,” McIntosh said. “Everybody gets tired of hearing about it, but everyone’s been affected by it. That’s why we decided to create this event.”

Over 100 people attended the event, which featured dinner, a dessert buffet, a raffle and a comedy show where three comedians from JR’s Comedy Club performed.

“We just wanted to give back to the community, get all the industry people together (and) laugh,” Ragonig said. “We can’t come up with a cure or purchase a lab, but we can throw this event and give back to them that way.”

Circle of Hope provides assistance to the uninsured and underinsured individuals with colon, reproductive or melanoma cancer, and all the proceeds from the event will go toward their efforts.

“It’s a great cause,” said volunteer Anjanette Stringer. “My mother passed away from cancer, so this is very near and dear to my heart.”

Comedian Gali Kroup entertains at the Circle of Hope Night of Comedy fundraiser held at The Oaks Club in Stevenson Ranch on Friday. Dan Watson/The Signal

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Emily Alvarenga

Emily Alvarenga

Emily Alvarenga covers features and community for The Signal. She's new to the paper and Santa Clarita, but hasn't moved far from her hometown of Temecula, California. Emily graduated from San Diego State University in 2017 and has been writing and reporting since high school.