The Southern Chester County Weeklies (http://www.southernchestercountyweeklies.com)

Kevin Meaney dishes out laughs at After the Bell fundraising dinner


By Wm. Shawn Weigel, sweigel@kennettpaper.com

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hundreds turned out at Hartefeld National last Wednesday to share some fine dinner faire and a few laughs courtesy of a comic great.
The Kennett After School Association sponsored its second fund raiser for its After the Bell program last week, nearly selling out its 150 seats despite a number of other local events happening at the same time.
And that success, organizers say, comes courtesy of the night’s special guest – comedian Kevin Meaney.
Known for his imitations of his persnickety mother, who seems to always teeter on the edge of histrionics, Meaney brought the house down last week, sprinkling his reflections on childhood and marriage with some off-the-wall musical antics.
He also spoke about the mushrooms that make the region famous, and the sometimes stinky media they are usually grown in.
“My daughter told me about that, yeah,” Meaney said. “And everyone I asked, ‘well what kind of manure do they use?’ They all said, ‘it’s a special blend.’”
Meaney took the job after being asked last year by childhood friend, ATB board member and middle school assistant principal Karen Gerlach.
When scheduling conflicts prevented the funnyman from the inaugural event, he made sure to tell Gerlach to keep him in mind for this year.
“Kevin is just wonderful,” said. “When people ask me, why I seem so odd sometimes? It’s because I grew up with this.”
Funds raised from last Monday’s silent auction and ticket sales will go to fund the numerous programs offered each year to Kennett Middle School students.
Since the mid-1990s, the After the Bell program has provided students at Kennett Middle School with a wide variety of afterschool activities free of charge to both the kids and the district.
The volunteer-led organization hosts a diverse number of programs in two yearly sessions, ranging from guitar lessons to candy making to amateur photography and everything in between.
To donate to the After the Bell program, or to volunteer as a program administrator, visit www.afterthebell.org.