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'Tim Sample show' to help raise funds for Alzheimer's research

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'Tim Sample show' to help raise funds for Alzheimer's research photo by Nina Fuller

ORONO - Alzheimer's is no laughing matter, but Maine humorist Tim Sample is hoping to use his wit, jokes and Downeast accent to draw a crowd to his upcoming show in Orono that will benefit the Walk to End Alzheimer's.

"One of the bizarre aspects of being in the business of humor for three and a half decades is I started doing standup in an era when nobody, and I mean nobody, would be using the F' word," explained Sample.

Sample, who was born in Aroostook County and raised in Boothbay Harbor, says he doesn't need to use vulgarities to be edgy, hip or funny. He's been able to gather quite a laundry list of material for his shows, CDs, videos and books, just by observing and talking to folks he comes in contact with.

"Rather than using humor as a means of leading reality, I use humor as a lubricant for difficult truths of life," said Sample. "I talk about aging like, 'Did you not think it was going to happen to you?' My mother is 89 years old, and I'll be moving her into assisted living. Her issue that she's balking at is she doesn't want to be with the old people - but at 89 and 90 years old, you are one of the old people."

Orono Commons Rehabilitation Nursing Facility not only approached Tim about performing, they're also sponsoring his upcoming show at UMaine's Hauck Auditorium scheduled for June 9.

"We tried to get something going with Tim last summer but it didn't work, so we got him early [this time] and we're hoping to bring in some big money. We're looking to pull off around $10,000 by October," explained Theresa Garrity of Orono Commons.

October is when the Walk to End Alzheimer's will take place in Bangor. All the funds raised for the event go towards Alzheimer's support, care and research.

"We are trying to get Waterfront Concert tickets to raffle off. We've done some in-house [fundraising] stuff. We're also going to do a big bean supper and auction in September," said Garrity.

Bringing Tim Sample in to help lighten the mood on such a devastating illness as Alzheimer's is sure to make a difference in Orono Commons's ongoing effort to help support an end to the disease.

"Some jobs, aging is a liability [such as] hard physical labor. If you're doing humor, it gets better with age," explained Sample. "I just like to laugh. There is nothing more therapeutic to me than an entire room of people laughing, genuinely laughing all collectively."

Tickets for Tim Sample's show on June 9 at the Hauck Auditorium on the UMaine Orono campus are $15 each. They can be purchased at the door the night of the event or in advance at Orono Commons in Orono, Gaetani Eye Care in Old Town, The Cutting Edge Hair Salon in Old Town or Davis Pharmacy in East Millinocket. Doors open at 6 p.m. with music by the blue grass band, Raw Chicken. The show starts at 7 p.m.

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