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From tragedy to triumph: Lincoln High School theater director's loss inspires philanthropic event

Friday night's "improvathon" benefitted Blank Children's Hospital and NAMI of Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa — When Lincoln High School theater director Michael Williams lost his sister over the summer, he struggled with grief, but realized he wanted to do something to honor her legacy.

His sister had a kind heart, was always making people laugh and loved philanthropy. Those traits inspired Friday night's "improvathon" where an alumni team and a student team battled in different improv games to raise money for Blank Children's Hospital and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health) Iowa.

Local 5's Brandon Lawrence emceed the event, and while there were lots of laughs, participants said it was about something bigger.

"It's about entertainment, but its also about raising funds and awareness and showing support," said DJ Gochett, a Lincoln alumnus.

Admission was free, but organizers said the high school raised about $1,000 in donations for the two organizations.

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