The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

Crowd erupted in laughter at FBLA’s first-ever comedy show

Comedian Eugene T. Barnes took the stage. (Viraaj Marathe)

The lights dimmed in the Bridgewater-Raritan High School’s auditorium as the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club’s first-ever comedy show began on May 10.

As soon as the featured comedian of the night, Eugene T. Barnes came on stage, the auditorium filled with laughter in an interaction-driven comedy set. 

When the doors opened at 7 p.m., the audience bought their tickets in front of the auditorium and then streamed in. After a few minutes, Barnes came on stage to a warm welcome from the crowd. As the night unfolded, his set had many different parts, including stories about his life, talking to the audience and a rap battle between audience members at the very end.

Barnes has been a professional comedian for the past six years and has expanded to many different areas of show business. Aside from being a comedian, he is the co-founder of As One Entertainment, a live event production company, and runs a weekly open mic with his wife.

Branching out of just entertainment, Barnes and his wife are also the founders of Woke Empowerment, a live event planning company that seeks to help those affected by social injustice to overcome their struggles through the performing arts.

FLBA event organizer and senior Vraj Shah talked about why he started the event.

“When thinking about how to best raise money for a club, tons of people think of bake sales or car washes, but we wanted to do something new. That’s why we did a comedy show: it’s something that people would want to go to, but definitely not something that’s been hosted at our school before,” he said.

Club advisor Mr. Michael Bittner expanded on the point.

“We have a fundraising committee that works to come up with unique ideas that other campus organizations are not using/trying in order to raise money to help our members cover the costs involved in attending the FBLA State and National Leadership conferences. This year, it is in Orlando Florida and attending can be pricey. We had over sixty members attend the state conference in March and over twenty are attending the Orlando conference at the end of June,” he said.

Mr. Bittner also spoke about future plans for FBLA.

“This year, we increased by over twenty members so we now have over one hundred members. We want to have more members do well on the fall competitive events so that we can have more members attend the conference next March and hopefully more will qualify to attend next year’s National Conference that is being held in Anaheim, California,” he said. 

Deputy coordinator of fundraising Saanvi Goel talked about the interactivity and novelty of the show. 

“I really liked the emphasis on audience participation and the general humor of the event. I hope we can continue to organize new events for the club next year,” she said.

FBLA aims to teach the next generation valuable skills in business, finance and more. The club’s members take assessments at the regional, state and national level to prove their abilities. The club is currently holding elections for its officers for the 2024-2025 school year.

The comedy show marks the last major fundraising event that the club will have this year. For the rest of the current year, the club plans to send over twenty members to the FBLA National Leadership Conference in Orlando from June 29 to July 2.

They also are preparing to finish delivering 1,200 books to people in need as a part of their philanthropic endeavors.

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