GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The mother of a murdered 18-year-old is hoping to give back to those who helped her by performing standup comedy at the Gilda's Club fundraiser LaughFest.
Stacey Hilton's daughter McKenna Hilton was killed by her half brother in 2016. Following her daughter's death, Hilton says she doesn't know what she would've done without Gilda's Club.
"I always kind of thought of (Gilda's Club) like I think a lot of people do — that it's just for people who are suffering from cancer," Hilton told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday. "Gilda's Club was the only thing that got me up and got me out and they offer a meal and that was about the only thing I was eating, too."
Hilton said she decided to participate in the fundraiser this year to give back. She will perform Friday night with a group of other first-time standup comedians. The performances will begin at 9:30 p.m. at Dr. Grin's on the third floor of The B.O.B. at Fulton Street and Monroe Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids.
"I want to do something that makes other people laugh," Hilton said. "And see that even though you are grieving, you can still have some laughter in your life and it's OK."
Hilton said she is excited to perform, even with the possibility that things don't go well on stage.
"At least I can say that I went on stage and bombed incredibly and I'll still have a story to tell," she said with a laugh.
Hilton said she's sure her daughter would be amused that she is performing.
"I think she would be hideously embarrassed but I'm sure she would still be rooting me on," she said.
McKenna Hilton always enjoyed having a laugh with her mother. Hilton hopes her performance Friday brings a smile for her late daughter.
"To hopefully have her look down from heaven and be proud of me," Hilton said.
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