Laughs for Literacy lights up library

Written on 11/06/2023
Edwin Faunce

The Howard County Literacy Coalition's Laughs for Literacy comedy show was held, appropriately, at the Kokomo Howard County Public Library's South branch on Oct. 28, sponsored by First Farmers Bank and Trust.

The stand-up comedy show was originally scheduled to be held at Kokomo's Rhine Hall, but due to construction difficulties in getting the hall ready, the event had to be moved. Despite the venue change, a crowd showed up at the library to listen to the comedy stylings of John Branyan, Dave Dugan, and Luke McKinney.

Branyan, a Kokomo native and star of his own Dry Bar Comedy Special on Facebook and YouTube, headlined the event with McKinney as the opener, along with Q-95 radio and Dry Bar alumnus Dave Dugan adding to the laughs of the night.

Bob Stephenson, Literacy Coalition Executive Director, said the event raised $1,000 dollars toward the Coalition's mission to teach Howard County residents to read and increase their literacy skills.

“The audience had a great time,” said Stephenson after the show. “We were so pleased to have First Farmers Bank and Trust sponsor the evening, and we hope to have them back next year.”

Like other Howard County non-profit organizations, funding for the Literacy Coalition has been an issue, particularly after the COVID shutdowns in the previous few years.

Recently, the Literacy Coalition has stepped out and partnered with Bona Vista and Head Start to start Reading Rabbits, a program that gives free children's books to local children and their younger siblings who sign up through the partners every month.

"Typically, we will give approximately $30,000 dollars worth of books a year," said Stephenson.

The program is sponsored by the Center Township Trustee's office. For more information about the Howard County Literacy Coalition, their programs, and how to donate call 765-450-8532 or go to