Restaurants and Comedians Rally for Soldiers in Need


Jerry Seinfeld performing at last year’s Stand Up for Heroes event. Photo: Courtesy of the Bob Woodruff Foundation

The New York Comedy Festival and Bob Woodruff Foundation have drawn the likes of Bill Cosby, Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld, and Jon Stewart for its Stand Up for Heroes comedy night in New York City, the proceeds from which benefit post-9/11 veterans and their families. In its seven years of existence, the annual event has raised over $21 million to support injured soldiers. “So far, two million veterans and their family members have benefitted,” said Bob Woodruff, an ABC News journalist who in 2006 was hit by a roadside bomb when covering the war in Iraq, at a press conference this morning. This year’s show will be at 8:00PM on Wednesday, November 5, when Louis C.K., Jim Gaffigan, John Oliver and others will take the stage at Madison Square Garden. Tickets are still available here.

Also still open: dinner reservations! For the first time, restaurants will participate in “Dine Out for Heroes” that same night. “It’s the whole range, from TGI Fridays to Eric Ripert,” said New York Comedy Festival co-founder Caroline Hirsch of the mix of participants. 

Penny Glazier, founder of The Glazier Group along with her husband Peter, and one intern cold-called a laundry list of restaurants in the area to get them involved and ended up with this list of over 100 (with a few more to be added in the coming days). Other top New York City restaurateurs, including Daniel Boulud, Andrew Carmellini, and Drew Nieporent, have also signed on.

"We’ve been on board since the beginning," Nieporent told us. "We’d be part of this thing any which way." Each of those restaurants will donate $1 per cover on November 5 to the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

“The perception is that the troops are back already,” said Hirsch. “They’re not, what with everything going on in the Middle East. So [our efforts] are never going to stop. There are still 1 million troops over there.” Hirsch, Glazier, and Woodruff hope to take Dine Out for Heroes nationwide.

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