IMPERIALâ€“ The Burning Bush International organization (BBI), founded by Jim Rhodes and his wife, Nancie, hosted a night of comedy October 13 at Ricochet Rec Center and invited family and friends to come out and support the cause of helping underprivileged villages in Uganda.
With a packed audience, the evening began with an opening speech from founder Jim Rhodes, who thanked everyone for coming and explained the organization’s efforts to help the Uganda villages.
â€œWe have brought clean water, ten boreholes to ten village areas in 2016 for the first time ever, not only to provide clean drinking water, but better water for irrigation,â€ Rhodes said.
The reach of the group also spreads beyond physical needs by also evangelizing inside a prison near Tororo, Uganda. El Centro native, Elijah Banaga, is one of the members of Burning Bush International who had the privilege to preach at a Ugandan prison.
Following the speech from Rhodes, the mic was handed over to Banaga who lightened the mood by teaching the audience a traditional Ugandan song, and they began to sing along to the lively music.
After Banaga’s opening, the comedians took turns presenting their acts, giving the crowd a lot of good laughs. Headlining for the evening was Manual Nunez who gave an enthusiastic performance that incorporated members of the audience in his acts.
Finishing up for the night was local comedienne Denise DeHaven Rogers, who performs under the alias of character, Mama Crabapple, an elderly fat woman who talks about the hilarious events in her life. The crowd laughed hysterically and cheered for Crabapple as she performed for them.
As the event came to a close, the BBI group held a raffle, giving attendees a chance to win authentic Ugandan tribal merchandise such as hand-made necklaces, dishes, and instruments.
â€œI am so pleased with the turnout we had tonight,” said Rhodes. “I would also like to give a big thank you to those you donated for our cause and made it possible for us to continue the good works we are doing in Uganda.â€