Behind her was a PowerPoint presentation about weddings.
“I should let you all know I’m divorced,” Franco said to the crowd, laughing. “Clearly I know about what to do and when.”
Franco was part of Wednesday’s fundraiser sponsored by the not-for-profit Local First Bloomington, a membership program seeking to unite Bloomington businesses.
Alison Zook, the program’s membership liaison, told the people in the ?audience how successful the ?program is in her ?introduction.
“We currently have over 60 members, and that ?number grows by the week,” Zook said. “For every $100 you spend locally, $68 go back to local businesses.”
She compared that ?statistic to the $43 that go back into the local economy when people shop at chains.
Zook said each business quarter, Local First does an educational event and a charity awareness event. The charity awareness event, while sponsored by Local First, does not benefit the group financially but allows it to raise money for various local charities.
Middle Way House, Rhino’s Youth Center and Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard were among the charities that received money Wednesday evening.
The event was what landed Franco on stage in front of everyone.
She was there with several other notable townspeople to play PowerPoint roulette — a game in which the participants stand on stage and give presentations they knew nothing about beforehand. Each player was there to raise money for their choice of charity.
Franco chose Middle Way House. She was the first ?official player.
“I was literally like, ‘I hope it’s not me,’” she said.
Franco stumbled through the slides, cheekily telling the crowd how to plan and dress for their weddings.
“I’ve heard J. Crew has (wedding) shorts now, something white people really like,” Franco said.
The room was consistently full of laughter — some people chuckled at inside jokes, some snorted at ?risqué humor and some people cried over plates piled with Pizza X pizza.
In the back, people who couldn’t get seats stood and watched, beer glasses in hand.
The topics had been chosen accordingly. Annie Corrigan, representing Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, had to speak about Nutella.
She laughed to herself as she read a slide’s title.
“Life cycle of Nutella,” she said. “I sit on my couch and spoon the Nutella into my mouth,” Corrigan said.
Brad Wilhelm was the overall winner of the night. Wilhelm is the director of Rhino’s Youth Center.
When he got on stage, he announced his mayoral ?candidacy and told the crowd that his PowerPoint would demonstrate the ?reasons why he was qualified for the position.
Wilhelm looked behind himself.
One slide read “Dog Shows.”
The crowd laughed at him.
Like everyone before him, he improvised with each slide, trying desperately to transition smoothly from idea to idea.
Perhaps his shining ?moment came from a slide nearing the end. “Sport For the Purpose of Evaluating? Breeding Stock,” it read.
“Here’s where Kilroy’s on Kirkwood comes in,” ?Wilhelm said.
Jaws dropped around the room.
Even Wilhelm couldn’t keep a straight face during his own joke.