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Harvey Friends: A Comical Auction For A Great Cause

By Jaclyn Bauer in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 16, 2014 3:30PM

2014_10_16HarveyFriends.jpg Local comedian, Steve O. Harvey, known for his stand-up work at The Lyons Den and Lincoln Lodge, was recently struck with a fair share of hardship. Harvey’s friends in the local artistic community in Chicago and LA, though, are stepping in to lend a hand.

On Nov. 11, 2013 Harvey and wife Andrea's daughter Lila Blue was born three months premature and with a rare congenital birth defect that left her confined to the ICU for the first year of her life. Undergoing surgery and in the throes of a slow recovery, Lila was then struck with necrotizing enterocolitis, a gastrointestinal disorder that often affects premature babies. Though stable, Lila is due for more surgery and her parents have been left to patiently care for her with all the love they can and with no power to better her situation.

Adding to the pain of their only daughter’s sickness, Harvey was diagnosed with advanced stage melanoma on his neck shortly after Lila’s birth. He's scheduled for surgery within the next week and his friends are attempting to offset the financial struggles of the family, as well as the burden that will be put upon Andrea to care for her family.

Here are just a few ways that the community is stepping in to lend a hand and ways that you can help:

  • Kate Pinnow has put together a YouCaring page telling the story of the Harvey family and allowing readers and supporters to donate directly to Steve, Andrea and Lila.
  • Harvey’s friends held a fundraiser in his honor, the Harvey Auction Show, at Melt Down Comics in Los Angeles Tuesday night with special guest performers Pete Holmes, Kumail Nanjiani, Matt Braunger and more. You can check out the full show here. Bill Cruz, a fellow Chicago native comedian and a performer at the show noted that “with Steve and his family on all of our minds, there were no egos or putting on airs. Everyone was sincerely happy to be there.”
  • The Harvey Friends auction, now on eBay, is still live! Open until Friday morning, the auction includes items such as airfare to California to tour the Walt Disney Animation Studios (which by the way is not usually open to the public) with your tour guide, actor and comedian TJ Miller; a signed Silicon Valley poster; VIP tickets to a Conan taping; Chicago Bulls tickets; a personalized voicemail recording from comedian Kyle Kinane; and Goodman Theater tickets plus a hotel weekend and other great prizes.

Cruz noted that “the real value [of the auction] is "how much money we can raise." But secondly it shows what a tight knit community Chicago comedy was and is, …so much ha[s] changed and improved and grown, but that sense of community, of helping each other and looking out for one another, ha[s] not.”

The Harvey family may be going through a patch of life that is less than purely joyous and more than a bit challenging, but Cruz pointed out that “humor is an amazing power that humans possess…the humor that all the Harvey’s have, make them [a] truly blessed family, as it has provided the unbelievable strength to face these life altering challenges head on.”

So grab an item at the auction, donate a dollar or whatever you can, or offer well wishes and positivity to the Harvey family. Every little bit counts, and we hope that the Harvey family stays strong and takes a sharp left toward health and happiness soon.