Rik Roberts

On Thursday, April 11, the Itasca Youth for Christ (YFC) Comedy Cafe Adult Fundraiser will be held at the Timberlake Lodge. It all begins with a dessert social hour at 6 p.m. with the featured program starting at 7 p.m.

Rik Roberts, this year's comedian, is a Nashville, Tenn. based comedian and speaker who focuses on providing comedy and creative keynotes to groups who need a fun and engaging program. Most recently seen on Pure Flix Comedy All-Stars, Roberts keeps his humor relevant and easy to relate to. As a father of two young children, he has found there are enough real life situations that we can all laugh at without going "below the belt." Family-friendly comedy is his specialty.

Roberts grew up in Kentucky working alongside his father on tobacco and horse farms. Later, he also logged in several summers on thoroughbred horse farms in and around Lexington, Ky. He draws upon these experiences along with the rural way of life in his programs.

After earning his degree in communications from Bethany College, Roberts worked for Simon & Schuster in Columbus, Ohio. He joined a nationally touring comedy troupe, Midwest Comedy Tool & Die (MCTD), in 1992, and shortly after that he decided to jump head first into stand-up comedy. He now has over 20 years of headlining experience across the United States and abroad.

He's appeared in his own episode of the award winning Bananas Comedy Show, which features the nation's top comedians. Believing that the world needs more clean comedy, Roberts teaches comedy writing workshops across the country and online through his "School of Laughs."

A huge Andy Griffith Show fan, Roberts developed a "Mayberry Method" approach to his business. After seeing increases of 34 percent in his first year after implementing the program, he decided to share the process with others in a keynote program of the same name. His slight resemblance to the bumbling deputy comes in handy when he takes the stage as Barney Fife.

Roberts is a proud father of two and happy husband at home in Nashville. He spends his time off stage writing comedy songs - many of which are aired daily on SiriusXM radio's LaughUSA and Jeff & Larry's Comedy Round Up channels. Of his seven comedy CD's, two are still available for purchase on RikRoberts.com.

He's appeared on Huckabee (TBN), Comedy All-Stars (Pure Flix), Chonda Pierce's "Stand Up For Families" (Dove Channel), "20 Greatest Redneck Moments" (CMT), "The Henry Cho Comedy Show" (Great American Country), "Bananas Family Comedy" (SONY), "L.O.L.

Comedy" (Syndicated) and Car Talk (NPR). Roberts is a member of the National Speakers Association and is the current President of the Christian Comedy Association,

The Comedy Cafe provides an enjoyable and memorable evening and at the same time provides an opportunity for awareness and financial support for its programs. The organization is totally funded by the local community. Without this event, YFC would not be able to offer this important work with area teens.

Duane Geisler, Executive Director for Itasca Youth for Christ, was hired to develop the programs of Campus Life and the Juvenile Justice Ministry, which have spanned the 49 years since its inception. In 1997, Itasca Youth for Christ added the Ground Floor youth center to its venue of youth programs.

YFC has provided continuity and a long-term investment in its unique relationship approach to positively impacting young people. The staff engages teens by "showing up" and spending time in their world on a consistent basis. They "win the right to be heard."

The friendships provide opportunities to listen to their stories, build trust, and offer confidentiality to kids who need someone to talk to, someone they can connect with. Research done by the Wilder Foundation and Search Institute has found that strong relationships with an adult beyond the family are critical for young people's success. Survey data from 2,357 students of our area found that teens especially lack strong relationships with adults beyond families

Itasca YFC is governed by a local board of directors and is totally funded by the local community. Anyone who would like more information about the YFC programs is invited to go to the website: www.itascavfc.org or call the YFC office at 218-326-9079.

Although this isn't a ticketed event, reservations must be made by calling the YFC office at 218-326-9079, or emailing yfcduane@2z.net. The deadline is Wednesday, April 3.

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