Before his time as an accountant, before he played tight end for Boston College, and well before he became one of the most well-respected and recognizable names in stand-up comedy, Gary Gulman was a student at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School.
On April 26, he’ll be back on his old stomping grounds, looking to give back to his community.
“My friend, Allison, who I graduated with, is the head administrator of the health center, and she does everything for it,” Gulman tells Vanyaland. “She does all the fundraising and the grant writing and stuff like that, so when I met up with her earlier this year, and she showed me the health center, I was just so impressed with what she had done with it, that I told her I wanted to do a benefit show to help the cause, and offered my services on the spot.”
As eager as he was to volunteer his craft for a great cause, the former BC Eagle hadn’t really thought about the benefit show in terms of helping the community at large, until he realized just how much the health center has helped the community beyond the walls of his high school. As a soft-spoken advocate for mental health awareness, and someone who has been open about his own struggles with depression and anxiety, Gulman commends the broad spectrum of health care with which the PVMHS health center works with.
“This health center provides so much care in the areas of not just general health, but also mental health and counseling, and also care for kids who can’t afford the health coverage,” Gulman adds. “The health center covers them no matter what their ability to pay is, and that is just so important, because I know growing up, I wish there had been something like this for me, my classmates, and my community back then.”
Citing his family for the growth of his “philanthropic instincts,” the lanky jokester hopes that, while he is nervous to perform in front of a crowd that will undoubtedly be peppered with former classmates (“It’s almost a nightmare come true to perform in front of your city at your high school…”), this chance to assist in helping a great cause will open the door for similar opportunities down the road.
“Luckily, I’m in a position where I can help,” he admits. “I wish I could do more to help from a financial standpoint, where I could just write out a check and get my name put on a cool plaque so they don’t have to worry about any grants, but I really think this show is the least I could do.”
AN EVENING OF COMEDY WITH GARY GULMAN :: Thursday, April 26 at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School, 485 Lowell St. in Peabody, MA :: 7 p.m., all ages, $10 to $50 :: Eventbrite event page and advance tickets :: Photo via Eventbrite