Lowell, Massachusetts came alive with laughter, love, and the spirit of giving on the evening of November 18, 2023, as the annual Laughs for Love event took center stage. This cherished tradition, spanning decades, tells a story of compassion and generosity as it raises funds for Mustard Seed Communities (MSC), a nonprofit organization committed to providing care for the most vulnerable across the globe. Spearheaded by the dedicated Leahy family and surrounding community since the 1980s, this year's edition proved to be another unforgettable night of inspiration and unity.
The event, held at Lenzi’s in Dracut, witnessed a diverse crowd of individuals coming together for a common cause. Laughter echoed through the air as friends, families, and community members gathered to support children and adults with disabilities living in MSC’s care. In particular, the community united to sponsor the glowing personality of Gracie, a resident of My Father’s House who is growing into a thriving student and friend.
Gracie's transformation continues to inspire us; you can still give to support Gracie and the other residents of MSC.
Msgr. Gregory Ramkissoon, Founder of Mustard Seed Communities, traveled from Jamaica to deliver a powerful and heartfelt speech that resonated with attendees. His words served as a poignant reminder of the meaningful impact that collective efforts can have on the lives of each and every resident. In typical Msgr. Gregory fashion, he inspired the whole crowd with his humorous storytelling.
The Lowell community has a long and rich history with Msgr. Gregory: the group first met Msgr. Gregory in 1981, when he was a young graduate student at Boston College. His vision for MSC—to become a haven for children with disabilities abandoned on the streets of Kingston, Jamaica—was a small seed that had yet to blossom.
In this community, Msgr. found an overwhelming sense of love and support for this mission of uplifting the most vulnerable members of society. From this response, Mustard Seed Communities began to grow, and forty five years later, Laughs for Love continues to bloom with joy.
Dan Leahy (center) invites friends, family, and dedicated MSC supporters to the Laughs for Love celebration each year.
Live music provided by an energetic band set the stage for a night of joy and celebration, followed by an exciting raffle.
Dan Leahy, the driving force behind "Laughs for Love," expressed his gratitude for the unwavering support from the community over the years. "It's incredible to see how our community comes together every year to make a difference. Laughter and love truly have the power to change lives, and we're grateful for the opportunity to contribute to Mustard Seed Communities," Leahy shared.
Leahy was honored by the office of MSC in the United States as a Mustard Seed Champion; these Champions are named for their heartfelt commitment to providing loving care to the most vulnerable with MSC.
Leahy writes about MSC, "For me, this labor of love is a significant way to express my friendship with God as I recognize Him in the once, but never twice, abandoned folks of MSC. For me, MSC expresses all the best the Catholic Church has to offer the world today: unconditional love and compassion. No judgment, just a welcoming celebration of God’s most glorious creation. Together in this love, we recognize He is here!"
Dan (left) is honored with a MSC Champions basket with Msgr. Gregory and Executive Director of MSC USA, Betsy Fountain.
The event succeeded in not only raising funds for the needs of MSC’s mission but also fostering a sense of community and shared purpose. The attendees left with smiles on their faces, knowing that their laughter and financial support contributed to a brighter future for those in need.
Laughs for Love continues to be an annual highlight for the MSC Family. It serves as a testament to the impact that a community can have when they come together for a common goal. Through the dedication of individuals like Dan Leahy, the inspiring words of Msgr. Gregory, and the lively music that filled the air, the event once again proved that love, laughter, and generosity can make the world a better place.