Johnstown Independent

Community uses laughter to cheer a struggling friend

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Some Johnstown-area comics hope laughter is the best medicine to help a struggling community member.

A comedy concert benefit is slated for this weekend in honor of Mike Revercomb, a custodian at the Johnstown-Monroe schools who was diagnosed with a quick-spreading terminal cancer.

His fellow employees from the district attempted to give him their paid sick days to extend the amount of time he would receive a paycheck from the district. However, Johnstown-Monroe Superintendent Damien Bawn said, it wasn't possible by law to do so.

Revercomb, 58, is a 16-year employee of the district, and his pay is set to stop in early March.

A "We Love Mike Benefit" silent auction and comedy night has been scheduled for for Feb. 10 at the high school's performing-arts center, 401 S. Oregon St. The silent auction will begin at 6 p.m., and a comedy show, featuring four nationally touring standup comedians, will start at 7 p.m.

The show includes comics Greg Smrdel (a former WCLT-FM deejay), Mary Miller, Jennifer Shenberger and Kevin McPeek.

"We'll have you laughing from start to finish and long after the show," Miller said.

Tickets are $10 each and will be available at the door. Show content is considered PG-13.

"The hope is that Mike will feel good enough to be there, to feel and see the love that his friends, family, co-workers and community have for him and his wife, Jeanne," Miller said.

"It's overwhelming and humbling," Jeanne Revercomb said. "We are so grateful to have this outpouring of love. It is incredible. Mike and I are so happy to have this opportunity to say thank you to everyone."

Bawn issued a press release stating that it was not the school board's choice to deny teachers' request to give Revercomb their sick days.

"According to a leading handbook on Ohio school law, the Johnstown-Monroe Board of Education can take no action to institute a sick-leave donation or sick-leave bank policy under which employees are permitted to contribute a portion of their accumulated sick leave to another employee," he said in the release. "In all cases, the district has, is currently and will continue to provide all possible aid and support in cooperation with appropriate agencies, to employees who may find it necessary to exercise available and legally permissible options, such as applying for disability retirement and potential insurance benefits. In these situations, we trust the retirement systems and agencies will respond in a timely manner."

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