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Former Berkley student raising money for children’s hospital through comedy

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published April 6, 2016

 Community relations representative Byron Myer gives the football players a tour of the children’s hospital.

Community relations representative Byron Myer gives the football players a tour of the children’s hospital.

Photo provided by Sam Silverstein

BERKLEY — Two years ago, then-Berkley High School senior Sam Silverstein went with his football team on a visit to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor to help raise money to fight childhood cancer.

It was then that he fell in love with the facility and has since spent a great part of the last two years trying to raise money for the hospital through stand-up comedy.

Silverstein, now a sophomore at Michigan State University, started a live comedy show, Laughter Is the Cure to Life, last year to help raise funds to purchase toys, games and stuffed animals for the kids at the hospital. He has performed his show at events at MSU, Grand Valley State University and in his own backyard. His next show will be at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, 911 N. University Ave. at the University of Michigan, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 11. Tickets can still be purchased at

“It was the perfect opportunity to give a greater purpose to what I love to do while doing something good for the rest of the world,” he said.

Recently, Silverstein teamed up with his old high school football team to raise more money for the hospital through a toy drive. Each member of the team had to raise $20 throughout the community so they could go on a shopping spree for the kids in the hospital.

Head football coach Chris Sikora said his goal with running a football program, aside from winning games, is to try to have an impact on every student.

“There’s so much more than nine football games a season,” he said. “It’s helping out your community and doing everything you can to benefit others.”

From what they raised, they were able to buy 80 stuffed bears, 40 new books and 10 video games to be able to give to the kids. Overall, Silverstein has helped raise around $10,000 since starting his comedy shows for Mott, and he hopes to raise another $15,000 by the end of May to hit $25,000.

Silverstein said he wanted to focus on raising money instead of donating toward research, so the money could have a direct impact with the kids who are in the hospital.

“Anything to make the kids’ stay at the hospital as easy and as fun as possible,” he said. “We’re making a direct impact where we can see smiles on kids’ faces. We can see the money that we raised actually helping.”

Currently, Silverstein is working on planning a show at Berkley High School for the end of April, which people can follow for updates at, where they also can donate money or buy tickets for upcoming shows.