NYC Firefighters and Police Officers Join Forces for a Night of Comedy to Benefit Children with Autism

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The Guns and Hoses Comedy Event comes to Hofstra University on Saturday, January 13, 2007, at 8 p.m. The fundraiser will feature FDNY funny man Billy Bingo, former NYPD Transit Officer John Diresta and other local talent. Tickets on sale for $30, $45 and $75. All proceeds benefit The ELIJA School -- A Behavioral School for Children with Autism. Tickets can be purchased by going to

Being a NYC policeman or firefighter requires many skills. Perhaps the most important one is remembering to never lose your sense of humor. Maybe that's why so many FDNY and NYPD officers turn to stand-up comedy as their second careers.

On Saturday, January 13th, 2007, at 8:00 p.m., join the FDNY and NYPD's funniest at The Guns and Hoses Comedy Event to benefit The ELIJA School - A Behavioral School for Children with Autism in Bethpage, NY. The event will be held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. Tickets prices are $30, $45 and $75.    

When retired FDNY member Tim Dwyer, father of 8-year-old Colin, currently diagnosed with autism and a student at The ELIJA School in Bethpage, NY, decided to create a comedy event, he knew exactly who to call -- fellow FDNY retiree Billy Bingo.

"Everyone on the job knows Billy Bingo," said Dwyer. "After seeing him perform once, you never forget him, plus he is very active in organizing fundraisers for both the fire and police departments. The moment I reached out to him about helping out The ELIJA School, he was all over it."

Billy Bingo retired in 2001 after a 20-year career with the FDNY and now serves the ranks as a full time comic. He was the organizer and opening act for "911 Comic Relief" and organizer and host of "The Bravest Night of Comedy," a fundraiser to benefit widows and children of deceased FDNY members non-line of duty.

Once Bingo was confirmed, he started making calls to recruit other comics. The first call went to long time friend and fellow comic John Diresta to Headline the event. After 12 years as a Transit police officer, Diresta opened in his own off-Broadway show: BEAT: A Subway's Cop's Comedy which was made into the TV sitcom "Diresta" on UPN. John currently hosts the hit show "Hammered" on HGTV and will be featured in Comedy Central's genius Comedy American Body Shop. John has been a guest on "The Tonight Show" and "Howard Stern" as well as had roles in Miss Congeniality 1 & 2, 15 MInutes and Mickey Blue Eyes.

Bingo also recruited Long Island based comic Maria Walsh, aka "America's Naughty Mommy," who performs at comedy clubs across the country. The show will be hosted by comedian Mike Bower who has his own daily radio show on Sirius Maxim Radio, channel 108.

All proceeds from the event will benefit The ELIJA School, a private, non-profit school for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, which opened in Bethpage, NY, in September 2006.

The ELIJA School utilizes a behaviorally-based curriculum to increase functional academic, communication and social life skills for children diagnosed with autism. All skills are systematically taught through highly structured one-to-one and small group teaching sessions utilizing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA-based interventions have been endorsed by the US Surgeon General and the New York State Department of Health.

For more information about The Guns and Hoses Comedy Event, please call Tim Dwyer at 917-612-8439. For more information about The ELIJA School or to make a charitable donation please call 516-433-4321.

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Maria Dwyer

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