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Coachella Valley remembers Joan Rivers

By Megan Terlecky, News Channel 3 Anchor & Reporter, megan.terlecky@kesq.com
Published On: Sep 04 2014 08:48:39 PM CDT
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

Joan Rivers also had ties in the Desert, she was just here in March for a comedy show, but also a big supporter of several causes in Coachella Valley.

Rivers is one of the earliest and loudest advocates for the LGBT community, especially the fight against HIV and AIDS.

"It's awful, and sad, I can't believe it and I just saw it a couple of hours ago and I'm heart broken," said fellow comedian and Palm Springs resident Shann Carr.

"I think it's a shame.  She is an icon and a lot of people know her from the Red Carpet and Hollywood and all of that. It's sad," said Desert Hot Springs resident Denise Vasquez. 

"Very very sad, she was a neat lady. I liked following her on Facebook and keeping track of what she was doing, she was just so active and out all of the time.  I think she is really going to be missed," said Palm Springs resident Jon Rock.

"It's quite saddening, she was an icon, she was a legend in her field, one of the first women to go out and be funny," said Desert Hot Springs resident Gabbie Valdez.  

Not only making people laugh, but Rivers took on controversial issues head on like no one could.

"In a way that shocked people into submission and eventually love if you were lucky," said Carr.  "She does it more with a jab and a stab but it catches you off guard and you've laughed before you've had a chance to censor your reaction because she has poked at the funny bit."  

"She was very much a no nonsense kind of woman," said Valdez.

Her fearless humor helped bringing attention to the fight against HIV and AIDS.    

"Her connection to the AIDS crisis. The second it was named, she was right there.  25 years I think, she delivered food for God's Love We Deliver, she delivered food homes all that time. I think a lot of people didn't get to see it, here we got to see it," said Carr.

"She helped get a lot of Palm Springs and gay and HIV visibility and rights and people behind us and help," said Carr.  "She was always willing to let someone stand on her knee to get up to the next notch."

From hosting the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Gala in 2012 to supporting the Lucy Pet Foundation in Indio before her last performance in the Desert, nothing slowed her down.  

"We can't focus on what's missing, but how grateful that she built something for us to stand on.  We are lucky," said Carr.

"I don't know that anybody will ever fill her shoes, because those are some expensive shoes to fill, but she will be missed," said Valdez.

"Try not to take your life to seriously, think of Joan when something makes you crazy," said Carr.