Variety Telethon Raises $1.25 million

March 25, 2012 Updated Oct 20, 2013 at 4:39 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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March 25, 2012 Updated Oct 20, 2013 at 4:39 AM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. ( WKBW ) The theme of the Variety Kids 50th Anniversary Telethon was to create endless possibilities for the children of Western New York.

Those dreams became a little closer to reality Sunday night when the Telethon went off the air with a total of $1,251,148 from the grand ballroom of the Adam's Mark Hotel.

The total was almost $50,000 over the previous year.

The long running anchor team of Irv Weinstein, Rick Azar and Tom Jolls returned for a rare reunion, which sparked hundreds of pledge calls as they remembered their time at WKBW, and helping the children.

President and General Manager Bill Ransom joined Variety Chair Margie Arnold in welcoming celebrities with WNY roots back home. Clint Holmes, and the Scintas joined Terry Buchwald and the popular "Mr. Food" in make pledge pitches and entertaining.

The celebrity children for 2012 were Casey and Coral Swan. These 5 year old twins from Cheektowaga joined the state with dozens of returning celebrity children from the past 50 years, including one of the oldest, Peter Montemarrano who was celebrity child in 1984.

Hundreds of businesses made major contributions. Attorney Paul Cambria hosted the corporate match pledge pitches, and joined other Channel 7 personalities in asking the public to help.

The traditional rendition of "God Bless America" ended the show, which was jam packed from 7a.m. until 7 p.m. with children, fun, tears, memories, and songs, all to help Women and Children's Hospital and other children's charities.