When Marti MacGibbon isn’t speaking to inspire and encourage behavioral health and medical professionals, or working on her second book or traveling between California and Indiana, you will find her raising awareness and funds for HVAF and other recovery housing programs in Indy. The addiction treatment professional first learned about HVAF from a colleague, an LCSW at the Veterans Administration.
She is giving back to those who served our country.
In 2011 Marti and her husband, Chris Fitzhugh, created Laff-Aholics Standup Comedy Benefit for Recovery, an annual event in Indianapolis that features nationally headlining comedians. All profits from the show go to local organizations, like HVAF, that provide transitional housing and access to treatment for recovering addicts and alcoholics.
HVAF was at the top of her mind for her charity of choice to support through a comedy fundraiser in 2015. Veterans have been near and dear to her heart. Marti’s father was a WWII veteran and her cousin was a Vietnam veteran who passed away before he turned 40.
|Laff-Aholics at HVAF
On October 10, 2015, Marti and her team at Laff-Aholics held a comedy fundraiser at the Indianapolis Museum of Art for HVAF’s Residential, Substance Abuse, Treatment (recovery) program, and another beneficiary, Foundation for Court Promoted Recovery. The show raised $11,450 in all, and HVAF’s split totaled $5,775.00. Up to twenty-two veterans are enrolled in REST program at one time and receive intensive case management as they go through the 12-step recovery program.
Marti says that hope, healing and courage have helped her to overcome her own life challenges. In 1986 and 1987, Marti was homeless in California, sleeping under bridges and in abandoned houses. Today, she’s an advocate for people who are currently homeless, and as a speaker, she works to dispel stigma surrounding homelessness, addiction, and mental illness.
“I was a professional standup comic, with a Tonight Show appearance scheduled, when I went into a downward spiral. For nearly ten years, I struggled with addiction and severe PTSD, but when I got into recovery, I turned my life around. Recovery is the key! I returned to professional standup and traveled the U.S., performing in clubs, and at colleges and universities. Now I am a nationally known humorous motivational speaker, and a nationally award-winning author.” says Marti.
Now with a mix of hope and humor Marti is putting her experiences and passion toward helping others. Since its inception in 2011, Laff-Aholics has raised nearly $40,000 for beneficiaries.