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November 20, 2012 > 'Laughter is fun, free and non-fattening'

'Laughter is fun, free and non-fattening'

By Shirley Gilbert

So says Humor Specialist Beverley Bender. She will be the lead speaker at the next American Association of University Women Fremont Branch's Lots of Laughter event entitled "Laughter 4 the Health of It!" at the Fremont Main Library on Monday, November 26.

Beverley believes that laughter, aside from being cathartic, is the best thing for the body and mind. "It is great cardiac exercise, lowers blood pressure, helps you think creatively, makes impossible days possible, promotes camaraderie and puts a devilish twinkle in your eye."

In her workshops, the giggling guru cites the medical benefits of laughter, tells a potpourri of humorous stories, demonstrates exercises that promote laughter, and passes along ways we can find humor in every aspect of our lives every day. She believes that laughter should be used as a complementary health care practice because it's the most inexpensive and effective wonder drug.

Beverley was almost born funny. She delighted, as a child and young adult, in making family and friends laugh frequently and out loud. Laughter didn't become a profession for her until she went back to school at age 34. She attended the University of California at Santa Cruz, majored in sociology and started Toastmasters in a local jail.

"It's then," said Beverley, "that I became interested in public speaking especially after I ended up winning a speech contest by making people laugh a lot." Beverley's Master's thesis from the university was on the subject of using humor to promote healthy laughter.

She's done humorous workshops throughout the Bay Area and is excited about making folks laugh at the upcoming event for AAUW Fremont Branch.

"Life," says Beverley, "is made up of hills and valleys and when we're in a valley instead of reaching for a pill I think it's better to reach for a silly hat or make yourself or others laugh."

Beverley Bender's workshop is part of the fifth year of the Fremont One Book, One Community program sponsored by AAUW in collaboration with the Fremont Main Library, City of Fremont, and the Fremont Unified School District. This is first in a series of nine discussion and events centered around the subject of humor and designed to produce Lots of Laughter. As a community we will examine comical books, people and moments in movies, TV, stand-up comedy, columnists, health, and well-being.

Laughter 4 the Health of It!
Monday, Nov 26
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Fremont Main Library
2400 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont
(510) 745-1401

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