JAMESTOWN, NY – May 18, 2012 – The Lucy Desi Center for Comedy has donated tickets so that every child served by Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Chautauqua County can see the Story Pirates kids comedy show at this year’s Lucy Fest. The Story Pirates are a nationally-respected, critically-acclaimed arts and creative writing organization founded in 2003 to celebrate the words and ideas of young people, to promote literacy as a vital part of education, and to preserve the spark of youthful creativity. The show is performed by professional adult comedians, but based entirely on stories written by kids.

The Story Pirates will be traveling from New York City to Jamestown to perform at The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival on Saturday, August 4th.  Tickets are available at and at the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy, 716.484.0800.

“Initially we donated a few items for the CASA Come to the Table auction, but then it occurred to us: here we have this famous kids comedy show coming to town, and what population is more deserving of a good laugh and a fun outing than children served by CASA who are dealing with difficult and stressful challenges in their day-to-day lives?” said Journey Gunderson, Executive Director at The Lucy Desi Center.

CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.

Visit for more information on how to donate or become involved.

“It’s a rare opportunity to connect a comedy troupe that mainly performs in New York City alongside on-stage guests like Conan O’Brien, to our local youth… particularly those who are in the legal system because they are victims of abuse and neglect,” Gunderson said.

About The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival
The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, or “Lucy Fest,” embodies Ball’s vision for her hometown legacy: a celebration of the comedic arts held annually on the weekend closest to her birth date, August 6. This year’s festival runs August 1st-5th and features performances by Paula Poundstone, Lucie Arnaz, Billy Gardell from CBS’s Mike & Molly, and much more. Visit for more information and tickets.

This year also features the debut of comedic workshops in the areas of improv, sketch comedy, and stand-up. Registration for youth and adults is now open and space is limited to 15 spots per class. Call JCC’s Carnahan Center at (716)338-1005 to enroll today, and visit for more information. Accommodations are available.

According to an economic impact study conducted by Buffalo firm Paradigm Economics and commissioned by the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the 2011 five-day festival saw 13,000 in attendance and had a direct impact of $3.6 million on Chautauqua County.

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is the first pillar in a four-pillar Legacy of Laughter vision for the organization, including a comedic arts education program, comedy film festival and the establishment of the first national comedy museum and hall of fame.

The mission of the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is to preserve the legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and enrich the world through the healing powers of love and laughter through its commitment to the development of the comedic arts.