When Tewksbury resident Gina Utegg made the decision to sign up for the August 2012 Pan Mass Challenge she knew that it wasn’t going to be easy.
Having already survived a traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder and breast cancer she was, however, confident in her ability to overcome the odds and, once again, make a difference.
Gina’s story of survival is an amazing one but, what’s even more impressive than her ability to overcome the odds is her determination to help others do the same.
A familiar site around Wilmington and Tewksbury with her bright yellow recumbent bike, Utegg has spent the 11 years since her tragic automobile accident working to better herself and, at the same time, making the world a better place for those around her.
She is strongly committed to fundraising for a number of different charities and longs to help as many people as she can along the way. Gina lives every day by her motto, “Who says I can’t?” but, without a doubt, this Pan Mass Challenge is her biggest commitment yet.
Gina’s determination is infectious and, when her story first ran, it caught the attention of comedian Jerry Caruso. The cofounder of Comics for a Cure, Caruso, like Utegg, devotes countless hours to helping raise money for various charitable events and takes pride in trying to make a difference in the fight against cancer.
Caruso contacted Utegg to offer his assistance in her fundraising efforts and, as they say, the rest is history. Together with several comedians as well as the staff at Focaccia's, Utegg and Caruso have teamed up to plan A Night of Comedy to Benefit the Pan Mass Challenge on June 14.
Caruso, a well known stand up comedian, has opened for acts such as Larry, “The Cable Guy,” Lisa Lampinelli from the Celebrity Apprentice and Boston legend Lenny Clarke.
His accolades also include AOTV’s “Jerry Caruso Comedy Hour,” numerous radio shows including Rock 101 WGIR Manchester, N.H., and various clubs throughout the New England and New York area. In addition Caruso acts for Murder Mystery USA and offers Motivational Speeches titled, “Laughter is the Best Medicine.”
In addition to Caruso the show at Focaccias Restaurant will feature three comedians; Larry Lee Lewis a piano player, singer, comedian, variety performer, radio personality, and senior entertainer, Krista Brennan, finalist at The Kowloon and Mohegan Sun and Worcester Top Dog Comedy contests and Carl Philips star of “Joey and Maria’s Comedy Wedding" and “The Soprano’s.”
Admission to the event is $15 and Showtime is scheduled for 8 p.m. For more information about Gina Utegg you can visit her website.