On the Town: Comedians help high school football stay ahead

If you visit your regular food market today, notice what seems to be a run on all manner of snack items and brewed beverages, and don't understand what's happening, the chances are better than good that you are not a fan or follower of one of the National Football League's 32 teams. Shortly after 5:30 p.m. this evening, the 93rd regular season of the NFL will officially kick off as the defending Super Bowl XLVI Champion New York Giants host the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

For Burbankers who are football fans, they are aware that while the NFL season is just starting, the 2012 local high school campaigns are already underway. That awareness is acute for those who have taken on the charge of rallying financial support for Burbank's high school teams including the J.B. Arrowhead Club, the fundraising boosters of the John Burroughs High School Indians football program, who presented “The J.B. Arrowhead Club's Fourth Annual Comedy Night” this past week.

Players from the school's freshman, junior varsity and varsity gridiron teams, along with their coaches, fellow students, parents and family members, made up a contingent of close to 300 who shelled out $25 a person to eat, laugh and financially support the Indians. Following dinner, served in the school's quad and provided by Downtown Burbank's Alambres Fresh Mexican Grill, the assemblage made its way to the Burroughs auditorium for an evening of laughs provided by comedians Dean Delray, Darren Carter and Jorge “DJ Cooch” Aldama.

Delray, who has toured internationally with Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes, the Wallflowers, Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz and the Black Crowes, has also earned screen credits for his roles in feature films including “Hell Ride,” “The Longshots” and “Noise Matters.” Aldama, who, as “DJ Cooch,” made his mark as one of L.A.'s foremost nightclub disc jockeys, crossed over into stand-up in 2004. Fluent in English, Spanish and French, he has co-hosted MTV's “Rock the Vote” with Ashton Kutcher and is a regular opener for Latino star Juan Gabriel. Rounding out last week's comedic headliners was Carter, who has performed on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Premium Blend” on Comedy Central and appeared in the 2005 film “Be Cool” with John Travolta.

Organized and produced by Julie Peppmuller, the mother of the Indians' current defensive lineman Bradley Peppmuller and 2011 quarterback Eli Peppmuller, who is now attending Western Oregon University, she was assisted in staging the evening by Fabian Ostina, Jill Heffley, Sonnie Monsalve and Bea Satmary.

“It is fundraising events like this that are providing the only financial support our football program receives,” said Peppmuller. “People don't realize, we do not receive any funding from the gate or the concession stand. This year, with the recent concern surrounding concussions, we needed to purchase 170 new helmets. That would have never happened without the financial support we get from players' parents, families and those who attend the fundraisers put on by the J.B. Arrowhead Club.”

DAVID LAURELL can be reached by email dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.

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