Congratulations to our award recipients who make the world a better place to be and have a ball doing it!  The Laffathon Lifetime Achievement Award winners are World Music artists: Dave Rentz and Grammy-winning-Blues Master, Taj Mahal

The Lucille Ball dedicated Having A Ball Award winners are: Helen Wolfe, Bryan Halfday, and Annabel Sclippa.

​​​Specialthanks to everyone who participated from Detroit to Tel Aviv to Cottonwood, Arizona to help make our 2016 and 2015 April Fools' Laffathon events a smash hit. You fun and funny folks sure know how to rock the laughter!


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: The 2018 Laffathon Lifetime Achievement and Lucille Ball dedicated Having A Ball Awards were not awarded in 2018 in lieu of our trip to Costa Rica to study and experience one of the world's happiest countries and to shoot footage for the upcoming Laffathon documentary film. We hope to resume the awards in 2019. Either way...have a Laffathon today! :)

​​Congratulations to Annabel Sclippa

Laffathon's International

Lucille Ball "Having A Ball" Award Winner

The Laffathon's 1st Laughter Demonstration is a Smash Hit! 

On April Fool's Day 2015 Cottonwood, AZ joined Detroit, MI and Tel Aviv, Israel to officially kickoff the Laffathon experiment with Laughter Demonstrations. The Cottonwood event was attended by dozens of citizens, the city's Mayor Diane Joens and Councilmember Terence Pratt at 1010 S. Main St.(Chamber of Commerce across the street from Sizzler). See the Cottonwood Journal Extra newspaper article on 3/25/15 and the Verde Independent newspaper. Both papers covered the demonstration with pictures and full articles (see our Fun News page for full articles). 


Contact: Dr. Rain
928 274-5347

Please publish on or before March 31, 2015

Cottonwood Participating in World Laughter Experiment - The Laffathon

3/17/15, Cottonwood, AZ
According to the World Health Organization, stress is the number one health threat in the United States. Local ‘glad scientist’, Dr. Smokey Rain, is responding by formally kicking-off the world’s largest laughter experiment dubbed The Laffathon. To celebrate the kickoff, a Laughter Demonstration is being held at the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce (1010 S. Main St., Cottonwood) on April Fool’s Day from 4-6pm. There is a simultaneous Laughter Demonstrations in Detroit, MI and Tel Aviv, Israel has already demonstrated support.

“Laughter and a humorous perspective can make us healthier, smarter and happier,” Dr. Rain observes. “The Laffathon experiment is simply challenging yourself daily to laugh and smile more, especially when you don’t feel like it, because that’s when you need it most.”  Dr. Rain adds, “Like a giant sponge, you can squeeze out the stress and absorb the humor till it overflows and you laugh. It may seem a bit silly, but it sure beats checking into the hospital. Nurse your humor and your humor will nurse you.” Dr. Rain is a field gelotologist and has been involved in over 20 years of laughter and humor application and research and is the founder of the Freedom to Laugh Coalition, a free club to liberate laughter.

“Stress can be a killer. Managing stress is essential to good health. Heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and panic disorder are just part of a growing list of health issues that laughter and humor development can prevent or treat,” Dr. Rain emphasizes. It is estimated that over 90% of patients walk through their doctor’s doors because of stress and stress related illnesses.  Dr. Rain acknowledges, “When you smile and laugh more the only thing you stand to lose is stress, a bad attitude, a bit of weight and your frown.” The purpose is to improve individual and community health, invite collaboration and generate joy to enliven the community.

Dr. Rain commends the City of Cottonwood, “Cottonwood has been very supportive and cooperative, it’s been a pleasure to work with Mayor Diane Joens, the Chamber of Commerce, other city officials and citizens”. Everyone is welcome to come join in the fun, bring your family and friends and shake off stress with rejuvenating laughter. “You can bring a sign or just your smile,” Dr. Rain suggests.  For more information please contact Dr. Smokey Rain at (928) 274-5347, or at



The Happy Bluesman 

is the recipient of Laffathon's first 

Lifetime Achievement Award

Grammy-Award winning blues legend Taj Mahal (  headlined the 3rd Annual Tilted Earth Festival on June 18th in Cottonwood (Arizona) where Mahal was presented with two special honors by Laffathon and the City of Cottonwood. The first-ever Laffathon Lifetime Achievement Award  was presented by "Dr. Laffathon" (Smokey Rain) and Mayor Joens of Cottonwood presented Mahal with the proclamation (composed by Rain) that declares June 18th Taj Mahal Happy Blues Day to recognize and share Mahal’s positivity. Rain's interview with Mahal was published in the Verde Independent Newspaper (June 14, 2016.)


"We did it! At the City Council meeting on 1/5/16 Mayor Joens signed and sealed the Laffathon Proclamation assuring additional measures be taken to promote and encourage Laughter and Happiness for the City of Cottonwood. Among other things, Mayor Joens proclaimed April 1st as LAFFATHON DAY and a calendar change of the weekday Monday to Funday. (See our Fun News page for complete details.) 

​In celebration we're having our Second Annual Laughter Demonstration  on April 1st from 3:45-5:00 p.m. in front of the Chamber of Commerce, (1010 S. Main St. Cottonwood, Arizona). 

Laffathon extends a special "thank you" to Mayor Joens, Council-member, Terence Pratt, the City Council and all the supportive citizens who attended this and/or the strategic planning meeting on 1/7/16.

*Our monthly meeting (second Wednesday of the month) is at the RIOT in Old Town Cottonwood from 5:15-6:00 p.m. Come and join in the healthy hilarity!*"

---Dr. Smokey Rain

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors and Supporters:
Dr, Bob Pizzimenti, Innate Healing Center, Detroit, MI
Lenny Ravich and Family, Tel Aviv, Israel
Checkered Past Antiques, Cottonwood, AZ

City of Cottonwood, AZ
Mayor Diane Joens, Cottonwood, AZ
Cottonwood, Chamber of Commerce, AZ

Terence Pratt, Councilmember, Cottonwood, AZ
Rick Rowley, Rowley Designs, Sedona, AZ
Joan Bourque, Artful Oceans, Cornville, AZ
Don  Whitcher, Cottonwood, AZ
Bonnie and (Bob) Clyde Jones, Cottonwood, AZ

2016 BIG WIN!

​​Laffathon's 2nd Annual Laughter Demonstration


Click here for the full story:

We "love Lucy" and Annabel Sclippa too. Annabel is an optimist who knows how to have a ball!. Just ask anyone who knows her and they'll tell you her joy for living is inspiring and contagious. This outrageously creative and humorous woman has a zest and zeal for life that makes her a positive role model to anyone lucky enough to meet her. Annabel has applied Positive Psychology to her life and it really shows. That's why she was chosen to be the first official recipient of this ultra-cool and super-fun award. This particular award is quite unique, it's a one-of-a-kind prize, a Lucille Ball family vintage scarf (see her modeling it in the photos above). The hilarious thing is this isn't her first connection to Lucille Ball. Upon receiving the award Annabel shared with us that she's actually friends with Lucy's nephew, Geoffrey Ball ( Go figure! 

       The Winners Within Us: Celebrating the Best of Us magazine has featured Annabel in an article by Lee G. Phelps who observes, "her afflictions trail behind her sunny demeanor and intelligence". (Click here to read her incredible story.) We couldn't agree more! 

​       Enjoying a rich cultural background, Annabel has lived in France, China, Africa, New York, Colorado and Arizona and consequently she has adoring friends around the globe. A multi-talented woman, Annabel is a columnist, PR Marketresse, poetry & book writer, painter, gardener, editor, artist, researcher of the world. ​And, she is also the newest member of Laffathon's comedy/music troupe, The Royal Noodles! Check out Annabel's beautiful and intriguing art which is currently showing in many locations as well as on her website: And, have a laugh-filled day. (January 9, 2016.)