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A publication of Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis

Summer 2016

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Dinner with the Stars Recap .................... Page 3-7 Runway Lights Fashion Show Recap....Page 8-10 Colin First Pitch............................................Page 12 Variety Children’s Theatre ..........................Page 15

From our

INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Dear Variety supporters, This issue of Spotlight is devoted almost entirely to highlights of Variety Week. And highlights there were in great number. The greatest number: the $2.5 million raised during Variety Week that’ll help us continue to provide lifechanging equipment, therapy, programs, and services to our more than 9500 Variety kids and families. As I’m sure you know, Variety doesn’t rely on federal or state grants to fund our programs; we rely on people like you. And once again this year, you really came through. Whether you bought a table for Dinner with the Stars, made a donation during Help A Variety Kid Day, raised your paddle to support TherHappy Kids at Runway Lights Fashion Show, or simply indulged your desire for a pizza on Imo’s for Kids Day, you made a difference. Those dollars, by the way, are already at work. To make this year’s Adventure Camp (just days away) the best ever. To help us ready the Variety Children’s Theatre production of Beauty and the Beast, where kids with and without disabilities will get the chance to shine on-stage, and behind it. Variety Week lasts one week. And with the 50th Dinner with the Stars program this year, and a sellout crowd to see Lionel Richie, what a week it was. But, thanks to your support, Variety Week is at work for kids with special needs the other 51 weeks of the year. Thank you for all you do to make this week truly memorable.


Brian Roy Interim Executive Officer




Judy Jones, Nancy Kranzberg, Ken Kranzberg, Jan Albus, Larry Otto, Marilyn Fox, and Variety Teens Mollie and Brendan

Woman of the Year, Judy Jones, Man of the Year, Ken Kranzberg, and Variety Teens Mollie and Brendan

APRIL 16, 2016 | PEABODY OPERA HOUSE The 50th Dinner with the Stars celebration was golden indeed. Community philanthropists Ken Kranzberg and Judy Jones were honored as Variety’s 2016 Man and Woman of the Year, a fitting tribute to the contributions, tangible and intangible, that each has made to Variety’s mission of helping kids with special needs. For the first time since Dinner with the Stars became a stand-alone event, the Man and Woman of the Year were recognized in front of a sell-out crowd: the result of the tremendous appeal of headliner Lionel Richie, who thrilled a jam-packed Peabody Opera House with a high-energy performance of his biggest hits.

Mr. Richie also met backstage with members of the Variety Children’s Chorus who had their own star turn singing a revised version of “Thanks for the Memories” that name-checked many of the stars who’ve helped make this gala one of St. Louis’ premier events over the past half-century. Best of all, the event helped Variety raise over $373,000 to provide very deserving children with very necessary medical equipment. Now on to the next 50 years.

This event was totally underwritten by Steward Family Fountain, World Wide Technology & Centene so that every dollar raised went directly to Variety children. We are truly moved by their kindness and generosity.


Thelma & David Steward

Michael & Noémi Neidorff

Cheri & Ron Fromm

Jill & Larry Otto

Tom Caradonna & Mandy Murphey

Marilyn & Sam Fox

Marsha Montgomery, Belma Givens, June Brown & Joy Greene

Kranzberg family

Paul & Beth Stroble, Sarah & Greg Riss

Peggy & Jerry Ritter

Nancy & Joe Imbs

Carol & Bert Walker

Cathy & Dave Hogan

Alison & John Ferring


Sam Fox, Peter Fox, Merle Fox, Eli Fox & Lenore Pepper

Marilyn Fox & Variety Kids Libby & Jonah

Richard & Melissa Mark, Cindy & Warner Baxter

Jackie Yoon & Arnold Donald


Susan & Danny Ludeman

Lee Kling & Andy Schmitz

Peggy Ritter, Barbara Bridgewater & Ann Liberman

Elke & Paul Koch

Carol & Tom Voss

Peggy & Pat Sly

Lionel Richie

Comedian Joe Torri

Lionel Richie posing backstage with a few kids from Variety Chorus

Marsha & Bill Rusnack

Lyn & Joe Castellano

Jeff & Patti Carr, Craig & Ann Marr

John Imo & Elizabeth Carnaghi


RUNWAY LIGHTS FASHION SHOW Runway Lights Fashion Show provided an elegant kick-off to Variety Week as well as vital funding for the TherHappy program that helps kids receive all-important physical, occupational, and speech therapy. This year’s show featured the spring/summer collection of noted designer Carmen Marc Valvo. In addition to these eye-catching outfits, the show also featured a display of some of the dresses Carmen’s designed for women known around the world, including Beyonce, Vanessa Williams, Katie Couric, and Queen Latifah.

Thelma Steward, Carmen Marc Valvo & Variety Kids Josh & Gracie

Kay Love admiring a diamond necklace courtesy of Simon Jewelry

As always, a special appeal to fund Variety’s TherHappy programs was an unqualified success, thanks not only to the generous donations of those in attendance, but a heartwarming story from Variety kid Madi, and her mom, and the powerful encouragement of Variety Women Chair Laura Ellenhorn. A big thank you goes out to all who helped make this “couture for a cause” such a wonderful event, especially Honorary Chair Thelma Steward and Runway Event Chair Kimberly Steward.

Top row: Kate Hagan, Lisa Forsyth, Beth Schenk, Sue Becker & Laurie Wirick Bottom row: Debbie Tharpe, Maureen Berosky, Karen Stietz & Liz Mantynch

Christy Marshall, Cindy Maritz, Susan Sherman & Marylen Mann

Presenting Partners

with support from


Wendy Henry & Lauren Herring

Ameche House & Thelma Steward

Carmen Marc Valvo & the Fabulous Femmes

Guests bidding on silent auction

Mike McMillan & Dave Steward Jr.

Mandy Murphey, Warner Baxter & Variety Kid Mollie

Shopping at Pillows with a Purpose

Donna Wilkinson, Tom Voss & Peggy Ritter

Laura Ellenhorn, Variety Kid Madi & her mom Traci

Michelle Thrower, Denise Loseman, Julie Kulawiec, Nancy Poole, Cindy Vavrik, Terri Struttmann, Lucinda Struttmann & Nicole Hunter

Linda & Stephen Potter


Marilyn Fox & Carmen Marc Valvo

Modeling a stunning necklace by jeweler Adam Foster

Whit Reichert, Variety Kid Nick & Variety Teen Kaci singing to guests before the fashion show

Dave Steward and Todd Weaver

Tom Voss, Dave Steward & Bob O’Loughlin


2016 Spring/Summer designs by Carmen Marc Valvo

Pat & Ed Kopetz

Jill Otto looking at the celebrity gowns designed by Carmen

Deb Bass & Helen Liu



Once again this year, viewers tuned to FOX2 and KPLR 11 got to meet Variety kids as part of Help a Variety Kid Day. Thanks to generous donations of airtime from these two channels, plus overwhelming promotional support from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louisans got to see how important Variety is to kids with special needs. Makenzie, Josie, Kimira, Ryan, and the rest of the kids who appeared on air thank all those who made phones ring with donations. And thank the volunteers from Edward Jones who happily took all those calls. THE ONES

More than 75 young professionals gathered at the Three Sixty Rooftop Bar high atop the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark on April 7th for fun, food, conversation, and a closer look at how Young Variety helps Variety fulfill its mission of supporting kids with special needs. Night of the Rising Stars is always a great recruiting event for Young Variety, and this year was no exception. Thanks to Variety board member Bob O’Loughlin for providing the facility and the food, and J.P. Morgan for sponsoring the event.


Variery Kid Kimira & Edward Jones associates

Young Variety members & guests mingling at Three Sixty Rooftop Bar

IMO’S FOR KIDS DAY It may not be the first dream to come to mind, but appearing on TV to eat pizza for breakfast was certainly a dream come true for Variety kids Brendan and Anna during Imo’s for Kids Day. Carl and Kelly Imo hosted Variety kids and FOX2’s Margie Ellisor, at the new Imo’s headquarters downtown on April 13. But the biggest gift from Imo’s was a donation of 10% of the proceeds from that day’s sales. This year, that amounted to over $150,000, and brought total Imo’s for Kids Day contributions to $1.7 million. Proving once again they really are the “Care beyond Compare.”

Carl Imo, Variety Teen Anna & Kelly Imo

Variety Teen Brendan enjoying Imo’s pizza

Carl Imo, Variety Teen Brendan & Kelly Imo

Variety Teens Brendan & Anna at Imo’s headquarters 11

FIRST PITCH AT BUSCH STADIUM Variety kid Colin took to the field at Busch Stadium on a picture-perfect mid-April day and became the latest Variety kid to throw out a ceremonial first pitch. After tossing a strike to Cardinals infielder Greg Garcia, and getting the kind of congratulations one can only get from Fredbird, Colin, his grandfather, and a number of other Variety kids and their families watched the game from luxury suites provided by Bank of America. The hot dogs, chicken strips, nachos, sodas, and cookies went down as easy as the opposing Milwaukee Brewers on this day, and the Variety gang went home in the happy aftermath of the Cardinals’ 7-0 victory. Thanks to Bank of America for making this entire day possible for so many Variety Kids. Variety Kid Colin

Variety Kid Colin & Fredbird

Variety Kid Colin & Bank of America President Jackie Yoon

Variety Kid Ryan Schulte & family

Variety Kid Kimira & Carol


Variety Teen S’India & Angela

Variety Kid Lenore & John

Variety Kid Josie & Victoria

CONTINUING SUPPORT FROM ANTHEM FOUNDATION MEANS MORE KIDS SLEEPING SAFELY What do you tell your kids at night? Sleep tight? Sleep well? Sleep safe? Thanks to a generous gift from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, more parents of Variety kids can now say those things with confidence. That’s because Anthem, through their charitable foundation, has provided a $25,000 grant to help kids like Peyton, a six-year old with cerebral palsy, go to sleep in a SleepSafe bed. A bed that provides a comfy enclosure without any hard edges or places to get trapped.

With Peyton in a SleepSafe bed, his mom, Amanda, doesn’t have to worry about him quite as much. So, in a sense, this bed helps his mom sleep better at night, too. During the day, Amanda can adjust the bed for him to sit in. And whenever a diaper needs changing, the SleepSafe’s ergonomic design takes backache out of the process. Like Peyton, and like his family, Variety is extremely grateful to Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. For their generous donation. And for making a safe and sound night’s sleep… a dream come true.

WEHRENBERG WORLD PREMIERE AND GOLD HEART PINS This summer, the long-running partnership between Wehrenberg Theatres and Variety will help encourage people to put on pins and turn off phones. This year’s gold heart pin campaign, featuring The Hunger Games, was a success once again, as over $100,000 was raised through pin sales at all St. Louis-area Wehrenberg Theatres. While that fundraising effort was underway, a number of Variety kids assembled at Wehrenberg’s Des Peres 14 Theatre to shoot a PSA encouraging theatergoers to turn off their phones. The spot, produced courtesy of Checkmark Communications, a division of Nestle Purina Pet Care, will run before every feature at every Wehrenberg Theatre starting in June, encouraging people to turn off their electronic devices, and reminding them to support Variety’s many programs for kids with special needs.

Variety Gold Heart Pins

Variety Teen Dakota & Wehrenberg CEO Midge Krueger

Variety Teens Zack & Gracie

Variety Teen Lindsey


TAX CREDITS AVAILABLE TO THOSE WHO SUPPORT VARIETY’S ADVENTURE CAMP As you read this, Variety’s Adventure Camp has begun another wonderful summer season. Adventure Camp is all about making the impossible possible for kids 4-16 with physical and developmental disabilities. Yes, it helps these kids develop social skills, and helps them build camaraderie with people like themselves, but primarily, it’s just a lot of fun. It’s also extremely popular, which is proven every year when every spot is filled within the first 10 minutes of registration. Those are all good reasons to donate to Adventure Camp. But we’ve got another you might find interesting: any Missouri taxpayer who donates $1,000 or more explicitly for Adventure Camp may receive tax credits under Missouri’s Youth Opportunity Program (YOP). The impact on your taxes can be as profound as the impact on kids with special needs. For full details of the YOP program, please contact Variety’s Director of Development, Linda Sanders, at 314-720-7712 or

Variety Kid Aiden & August

Variety Kid Jenna, Reggie, Thomas & Variety Kid Zach Madeline, Variety Kid Autumn & Sara



YOU HAVE FIVE CHANCES TO BE OUR GUEST. Variety Children’s Theatre is back this fall with another Disney classic: Beauty and the Beast. We invite you to join some of the city’s best theatre professionals, children of all abilities, and a live orchestra as we give this beloved classic the trademark Variety treatment.


More than a musical, Variety Children’s Theatre is an educational program designed to introduce school-aged children to the concepts of inclusion and diversity, and is the most entertaining lesson in acceptance, perseverance, and “I Can” spirit you’ll find anywhere.

October 21 @ 10am & 7:30pm October 22 @ 1:30pm & 7pm October 23 @ 1:30pm

Touhill Performing Arts Center Tickets on sale August 1st


TRIBUTES AND MEMORIALS HONORARIUMS In Honor of Jan Albus David and Thelma Steward In Honor of Barbara Eynon Patrick and Jennifer Eynon In Honor of Judy Gruender Sharon Friedman In Honor of the Cast and Crew of ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ at John Burroughs High School Whit Reichert

MEMORIALS In Memory of Mary Beth Desmond Kathleen Desmond McPherson In Memory of Chad Eatherly LuAnn and Tom Noelke In Memory of Greg Fox Barbara and Richard Kramer Nancy and Charles Pollnow Peggy and Jerry Ritter Marsha and Bill Rusnack

(from February 16, 2016 - May 17, 2016)

In Honor of Judy Jones Denise and Andrew Franz

In Honor of Jacob Menner LuAnn and Tom Noelke

In Honor of Ryan Schulte Robert and Jane Ryan

In Honor of Barb Kramer Mary Suzanne and Fetzer E. Crockett

In Honor of Greg Fox Lotta and Jeff Fox Sam and Marilyn Fox Howard and Kate Stephens

In Honor of Greg Schweizer Mary Suzanne and Fetzer E. Crockett

In Honor of Ken Kranzberg Michael and Leslie Litwack Eleanor J. Moore Kara and Timothy O’Leary Daniel A. Reich D.J. Serkes Howard and Kate Stephens

In Memory of Michael Goakey QSC Audio In Memory of Lois Mulderig Gerald W. Baltz Allan and Jill Crean Bill and Mary Johnson Michael Rickert Gerry and Margie Voss Helen Wilcoxon & Family

In Honor of Marilyn Fox Margot and Parker B. Condie Sr. Charles and Patti Disbrow The Oliver Group LLC Richard and Elizabeth Robb David and Thelma Steward

In Memory of Mary Francis “Chickie” Spalding Mary K. Dowd Kristine M. Ellsworth Alice Q. Kalafut George and Janice Herbst Mary O’Donnell Joseph and Lois Poehlmann Michael and Betsy Scott Gary P. Spalding Mary Tonne

In Honor of Thelma Steward Susan and Peter Brown In Honor of Thelma Steward’s birthday Belma and Henry Givens Sylva McDonald Jim and Peggy Miller Jerry and Cheryl Patton Deborah J. Ward

In Memory of Mark Toberman Andrea Capra Jon and Sharon Dulle In Memory of Bert Zurbriggen Mary Ann Foppe



Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis 11840 Westline Industrial Drive Suite 220 St. Louis, MO 63146

POSTMASTER: Return Address Service Requested

So many great memories during Variety Week. One of the best had to be one of the last: a presentation to rubber-chicken-loving Variety kid Nick. The entire staff decorated rubber chickens and gave them to him as a token of our appreciation for Nick’s on-stage money-raising efforts at Dinner with the Stars. In closing, a quote from Nick: “Rubber chickens are the keys to happiness.”

Phone: (314) 720-7700 •

Spotlight Summer 2016  

Lionel Richie performance, Runway Lights Fashion Show featuring Carmen Marc Valvo, Imo's Pizza day and more

Spotlight Summer 2016  

Lionel Richie performance, Runway Lights Fashion Show featuring Carmen Marc Valvo, Imo's Pizza day and more