Vice President Joe Biden lent his support to Oct. 21’s second annual Our Time Bowling Benefit, hosted by Paul Rudd, which raised money to help children who stutter.
While the VP, who stuttered as a child, wasn’t at Lucky Strike on 42nd Street he sent a letter to the attendees which was read aloud by Our Time founder and director, Taro Alexander.
“Growing up I struggled with stuttering,” Biden wrote. “I understand the anguish, frustration and anxiety that this common speech disorder inflicts on young people.” The Veep went on to thank Rudd for his work with the org as well as in the movie business.
After bowling a nine, Rudd explained that he got involved with Our Time while playing a character who stutters in Richard Greenberg’s “Three Days of Rain” in 2006.
“I didn’t know much about stuttering before the play,” Rudd said. “In my research I met Taro. This (disorder) is such a mysterious and tough thing to deal with for anybody, let alone a kid. I wanted to get involved and stay involved.”
It’s estimated that more than 60 million people in the world stutter, including 5% of all children. Our Time uses the arts to help improve the confidence and communication skills of children who stutter.
A young woman named Rebecca joined Rudd on stage to speak and sing about her struggle with the disorder. Following the perf, Rudd joked that he originally wanted to set up a poker benefit, but “it was tricky with kids involved. The logistics and legalities were just too hard.”
While thesp’s mood seemed light, he was determined to shed light on the speech disorder.
“There are a lot of challenges that kids and adults have to face,” Rudd said. “But people don’t necessarily think of (an org that helps children who stutter) as a place to contribute to, so any event we can do to say, ‘Hey! This (issue) exists! There are so many kids out there who suffer from it!’ I think is a good thing that needs to happen.”