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Laughter is the best medicine on World Laughter Day at McDade Park in Scranton

Laughter is the best medicine on World Laughter Day at McDade Park in Scranton
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Pennsylvania winters can seem grueling, bleak, and downright depressing. Now that the ice has thawed and the sun is out, it is time to warm your heart with the power of laughter.

Scranton business Laugh to Live will sponsor two events this year that celebrate World Laughter Day. The World Laughter Day celebration, started by Laughter Yoga founder Dr. Madan Kataria, is held the first Sunday in May each year. Along with the practice of laughter yoga, people hope to find peace and friendship through laughter.

Tonight, on May 1, a paint night will be held at Spirited Art (253 Scranton Carbondale Hwy., Dickson City). It’s a great time to grab a few friends, a bottle of wine, and show off your artistic skills (or lack thereof) doing a painting that represents the positive spirit of laughter.

The doors will open at 6 p.m., and the painting will begin at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $35 per person, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Humor Therapy Fund of the Scranton Area Foundation. Registration for this event can be completed online.

“The Scranton Area Foundation is honored to administer the Humor Therapy Fund, and working with the fund’s creator, Jeannine Luby, is a delight,” Rachel Drazdowski, director of philanthropy for the Scranton Area Foundation, said.

“This fund is truly unique for the foundation and the region, as it provides funding to nonprofits that promote therapeutic laughter and humor. We couldn’t be happier about playing a small part in the original, important work being supported by this fund.”

Laugh to Live’s annual World Laughter Day event will be held at McDade Park (1 Bald Mountain Rd., Scranton) this Sunday, May 3, rain or shine, from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. This free family-friendly event will include a Kids’ Joke Telling Showcase at 2 p.m., raffle baskets that will also benefit the Humor Therapy Fund, and laughter yoga sessions instructed by Laugh to Live owner Jeannine Luby throughout the afternoon.

“Laughter yoga is the practice of laughing, or choice to laugh, for the wellness benefits as opposed to laughing in response to humor. I should also state that it only requires a desire to feel happy. No yoga mat or fitness experience is needed,” Luby explained.

Kataria created laughter yoga because it is an activity that anyone can do at any level of physical fitness. He found many health benefits in simulating laughter, such as:

  • an improved immune system
  • healthy blood flow
  • lowered stress hormones
  • burning about 50 calories with 15 minutes of hearty laughter
  • pain management
  • improved mood and outlook

These World Laughter Day celebrations are the only ones happening in Northeastern Pennsylvania, so come out and support the Humor Therapy Fund while filling your life with the great medicine of laughter.
For more information, visit Laugh to Live, call 570-650-7518, or “like” World Laughter Day Scranton on Facebook or join the Facebook event page.

Guest article by Elizabeth O’Brien

World Laughter Day Scranton
Location: McDade Park (1 Bald Mountain Rd., Scranton)
Date: Sunday, May 3
Time: 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Free

Basket raffles benefit the nonprofit Humor Therapy Fund of the Scranton Area Foundation.