Zach's Place is a godsend respite for local families with special-needs children ages 5 to 21. Now the name Zach's Place rolls off tongues nationwide.

Linda Ellegard, executive director of Special Kids Special Families, told attendees at the Oct. 9 Night of Comedy fundraiser "Boots, Buckles & Chuckles" that she had been invited to go to Boston the following week to introduce the center to the National Respite Care Convention. Zach's Place is one of only two centers in Colorado and many states have none, she said. Because of the need, a capital campaign has been started for a larger Zach's Place, she said.

Another highlight of the evening was the Koscove Kids, puppets used in educational programs to teach children about people with developmental disabilities.

Adding a touch of comedy was headliner Josh Blue from TV's "Last Comic Standing," who blends his cerebral palsy into routines as he breaks down stereotypes. He said jokingly that anyone at Norris-Penrose Event Center who never had seen him likely thought some homeless guy had wandered in off Eighth Street.

Linda Navarro, The Gazette