13th Annual Stand Up for Heroes kicks off New York Comedy Festival and raises over $5.7 million to support veterans through the Bob Woodruff Foundation
Stand Up for Heroes (SUFH)— New York’s most anticipated night of hope, healing and laughter—returned for its 13th annual celebration to honor our nation’s impacted veterans and their families on Monday, November 4th at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Stand Up for Heroes was presented by the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) and the New York Comedy Festival (NYCF) and was brought to you by Veterans on Wall Street, supported by founding sponsor GFI Group Inc., Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation.
Ronny Chieng, Sheryl Crow, Chloe Flower, Hasan Minhaj, John Oliver, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, and Frédéric Yonnet took to the stage at Stand Up for Heroes for a once-in-a-lifetime evening of comedy and music to raise funds and awareness in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. The event raised over $5.7 million to support veterans and their families through the Bob Woodruff Foundation. SUFH kicked off the country’s largest comedy festival, which runs from November 4 through November 10, taking place at New York’s most prestigious venues and featuring performances from over 200 comedians in more than 100 shows across the city.
The honored guests for the evening, a group of over 60 veterans, service members, and their caregivers, sat in the front rows of the theater to enjoy the show.
The evening featured inspiring moments, including remarks from retired US Army Major Pete Way. Way, who lost his leg after being wounded while on deployment in Afghanistan, captivated the crowd with his story of resilience and gratitude. An avid mountain biker and proud father of two, Way thanked the Bob Woodruff Foundation for supporting the programs that allowed him to heal and thrive after injury. “At the end of the day, I think the message is pretty simple”, said Way. “No one can accomplish the mission alone.” In another highlight of the evening, Sheryl Crow invited Bruce Springsteen to join her for a duet of “Redemption Day.” Beyond the comedy and music, a live auction generated over $1 million in donations to support the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s mission.
In 2007, New York Comedy Festival founders Caroline Hirsch and Andrew Fox partnered with Bob and Lee Woodruff to create this special event as a tribute to wounded, ill, and injured veterans and their loved ones. To date, SUFH has raised more than $55 million for the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s mission to ensure that veterans, service members, and their families thrive in the next chapter of their lives.
“It’s been 18 years since the attacks of September 11, which means men and women who weren’t even born yet can now sign up to serve in our military. It’s our duty to take care of this generation, and the next, when they return home from the fight,” said Bob Woodruff, ABC News correspondent and co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “It’s an honor and a privilege to support our veterans through this special event and every day.”
“We are proud of our steadfast commitment to honoring our Nation’s veterans with the 13th consecutive year of Stand Up for Heroes,” said Caroline Hirsch, founder of the New York Comedy Festival and Carolines on Broadway. “With raising over 5.7 million dollars last night, we are continually impressed and ever grateful for the generosity of our performers and audience members who exceed our expectations and support our Nation’s heroes.”
SUFH has seen immense talent over the past 12 years, including comedians and performers such as Tony Bennett, Jimmy Carr, Eric Church, Stephen Colbert, Jim Gaffigan, Ricky Gervais, Whoopi Goldberg, John Mayer, Seth Meyers, Hasan Minhaj, John Mulaney, Trevor Noah, Conan O’Brien, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, Ray Romano and Robin Williams.
The NYCF is produced by Carolines on Broadway and is made possible by its partners: Citi, Luminary, ABC 7, Bloomingdale’s, iHeart Radio, Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment, New York Magazine, New York Post, SiriusXM Radio, Variety and Vulture.
ABOUT STAND UP FOR HEROES
Stand Up for Heroes launched in 2007 as the brainchild of Bob and Lee Woodruff and New York Comedy Festival founders Caroline Hirsch and Andrew Fox, and is one of New York’s most anticipated nights of hope, healing and laughter, honoring our nation’s injured veterans and their families. Since its inception in 2007, SUFH has raised more than $50 million to create long-lasting, positive outcomes for our nation’s injured veterans, service members and their families. Stand Up for Heroes continues to expand and grow due to its remarkable success. Beginning at Town Hall, the event moved to the Beacon Theater in 2010, and to the Theater at Madison Square Garden in 2013. Over the past 12 years, comedians and performers including Stephen Colbert, Jim Gaffigan, Ricky Gervais, John Mayer, Seth Meyers, Hasan Minhaj, John Mulaney, Trevor Noah, Conan O’Brien, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, Ray Romano and Robin Williams have taken the stage to advocate for our extraordinary service members. Stand Up for Heroes is presented by the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) and the New York Comedy Festival (NYCF).
ABOUT THE BOB WOODRUFF FOUNDATION
The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was hit by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Since then, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has led an enduring call to action for people to stand up for heroes and meet the emerging and long-term needs of today’s veterans. To date, BWF has invested nearly $70 million to Find, Fund and Shape™ programs that have empowered impacted veterans, service members and their family members, across the nation. For more information, please visit bobwoodrufffoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @Stand4Heroes.
ABOUT THE NEW YORK COMEDY FESTIVAL
Now in its sixteenth year, the New York Comedy Festival is produced by Carolines on Broadway. The festival has featured the country’s top comedians, including Judd Apatow, Hannibal Buress, Bill Burr, Margaret Cho, Billy Crystal, Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Kathy Griffin, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo, Norm Macdonald, Bill Maher, Tig Notaro, Nick Offerman, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, and Wanda Sykes, to name a few. In 2007, the festival launched the “Stand Up for Heroes” event to benefit The Bob Woodruff Foundation, which has featured performances by Stephen Colbert, Ricky Gervais, John Mayer, Seth Meyers, John Mulaney, Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Conan O’Brien, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, and Robin Williams, among others. To date, the “Stand Up for Heroes” events have raised over $50 million. For more information please visit the NYCF website, like the NYCF Facebook page, and follow the NYCF on Twitter, @NYComedyFest.