Buffalo, NY (WKBW-TV) Checks totaling $783,505 were distributed Friday night at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Buffalo from proceeds from the Variety Kids Telethon. The monies distributed were $100,000 over last year's total.
The Telethon has aired every March on Channel 7 for the past 47 years. It is the longest running locally produced telethon in the world. The event is produced by Tent #7, in partnership with WKBW, to benefit Women and Children's Hospital, and other children's charities.
The theme of the 2010 Telethon was "Making Our Kids Smile" - so what better way to kick off the Thanksgiving season then to give thanks for the good work so many do for the children of WNY, and make children and the charities that help them, smile with a donation.
In addition to distributing monies, Friday night was a time honor some of the special people that make "Variety Club of Buffalo" so special. Channel 7 engineer Charlie Smith received a standing ovation while accepting the club's "Mary Jane Cunningham Award for an Unsung Hero" for all of his efforts to technically put the telethon on-the-air since 1973. Charlie is also a volunteer member of the club.
Community leaders Duane Paddock, Paul Cambria, and Ed Devantier joined Ed Smith, Richard Goldstein, Steve Podosek, and other board members of Variety, in making the check and award presentations. Business leaders, volunteers, and representatives from various charities -including the President of Women and Children's Hospital Cheryl Klass - joined hundreds more in the Erie Ballroom at the Adam's Mark Hotel for the celebration.
Kathy Kaminski, President of the Variety Club Women presented the club's "Dorothy Atlas Memorial Award" to the Woman Of The Year, Deborah Mondo.
Telethon 2010 Chairman Ed Deventair recognized Certo Brothers Distributing, Pam Forge and Judi Kelly, Ed Honeck of "Nightlife" Magazine, George Liaros, Jay Macaluso of Pure Nightclub, and the owner of Southgate Plaza in West Seneca for their distinguished service to the charity.
Monies are distributed to dozens of local charities, and over a dozen divisions of the hospital - including a major donation to the Robert Warner M.D. Center For Children With Special Needs. It was the vision of Dr. Warner in 1962 that started the Telethon in partnership with the Variety Club.
Each year the Telethon hosts a "Celebrity Child." Sarah Kopascz of Lewiston, NY joined her family in saying goodbye as 2010 celebrity child while welcoming 2011 celebrity child Gracie Joyce and her family from Lakeview.
Channel 7 President and General Manager Bill Ransom is committed to the Variety Club, and is proud to announce that the 2011 telecast is scheduled for Sunday March 6th from 7am - 7pm from the Grand Ballroom of the Adam's Mark Hotel. Paula and Joe Salvatore, owners of Salvatore's Italian Garden's, are this year's honorary chair people. Longtime Variety volunteer Patty Somogye is Telethon Chairperson.
Read more about the work of Variety, find out how you can help, and learn more about all the charities served by going to www.varietykidstelethon.com