INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Variety Week 2017 Schedule........................Page 3 Man & Woman of the Year............................Page 7 2017 Gold Heart Pins..................................Page 10 Variety Childrenâ€™s Theatre Auditions........Page 11 1
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Dear Variety supporters, Late last year, we premiered a new video detailing the mission of Variety St. Louis. It opens with a quote from a professional surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack: “I don’t need easy. I just need possible.” We chose to open the video with those words because most of the kids we help would answer the same way. They don’t need easy. They just need possible. The kids we help have challenges most of us can’t even imagine. But you can take it from me, and anyone on the Variety staff: they also have determination that’s off the charts. These kids know “easy” doesn’t prepare them for a rich and rewarding life. They also know “possible” is what gives them a chance to reach their full potential. Whether Variety helps these kids obtain a valuable piece of equipment, like a wheelchair, or a set of hearing aids; whether Variety makes it possible for them to receive speech, or physical therapy; whether Variety gives them a chance to push themselves in new directions through camp, music, dance, or acting, none of those things is easy. But they all are milestone moments to be celebrated. As we head towards our biggest fundraising events of the year, detailed in this issue of Spotlight, I want to thank you for your continuing support.
When you give to Variety, any milestone moment is possible. Yours with sincere gratitude,
Brian Roy Executive Director
VARIET Y WEEK RUNWAY LIGHTS FASHION SHOW
UNION STATION SEE THE SHOW
VARIETY FAMILY CELEBRATION
CHESTERFIELD ATHLETIC COMPLEX KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY
VARIETY IN THE MORNING
KTVI, FOX2, 7-9AM TUNE IN
IMO’S FOR KIDS DAY
ALL IMO’S LOCATIONS PLACE AN ORDER
DINNER WITH THE STARS
PEABODY OPERA HOUSE BRING “YOUR SMILING FACE”
RUNWAY LIGHTS FASHION SHOW JOIN OUR COUTURE FOR A CAUSE. As always, Variety Week kicks off in glamorous fashion with the Runway Lights Fashion Show This year’s show, at Union Station, features the stylish designs of St. John, an upscale American fashion brand specializing in women’s knitwear since 1962. The task of mixing fashion’s glamor with Variety’s mission is handled expertly by honorary chair Thelma Steward, with the assistance of co-chairs Kimberly and Mary Steward, and sales chair Kelly Gross. They all look forward to seeing you on April 22.
VARIETY FAMILY CELEBRATION Variety families love to get together with other Variety families. So this year, we’ve organized a whole day for them. Held at the Chesterfield Athletic Complex the afternoon of April 23, the day will include interactive, hands-on activities, arts and crafts, live animal demonstrations, a family photo booth, food and drink, and surprises galore, all to celebrate the Variety kids that connect us all. Volunteers from presenting sponsor Edward Jones, as well as Ameren, and Variety Women, will be on hand to make it a great day. Presenting Sponsor
VARIETY IN THE MORNING START YOUR DAY THE VARIETY WAY From 7-9 am on Tuesday, April 25, “FOX2 in the Morning” gives way to “Variety in the Morning,” with Variety kids on set, in the field, and on air, bringing you their one-of-a-kind take on the morning’s news, weather, and traffic.
IMO’S FOR KIDS DAY THE SQUARE, AND THE CARE, BEYOND COMPARE. On Wednesday of Variety Week, Imo’s pizza donates 10-20% of each store’s sales to help Variety kids. That makes April 26th the perfect day for an office pizza party, a pizza birthday party, or a family pizza night. And, if for some crazy reason you don’t want pizza, ordering Imo’s sandwiches, salads, toasted ravioli or other menu items helps just as much. Through the years, your love of Imo’s and Imo’s love of Variety kids has raised more than $1.5 million on this special day. How much will we add this year? We’re hungry to find out. Aren’t you?
Our premier fundraising event is this elegant, black-tie gala held every spring. Chaired again by Marilyn Fox, the evening honors Variety’s Man and Woman of the Year and features a performance by a superstar from the world of entertainment. This year, we welcome James Taylor. The legendary singer/ songwriter first received worldwide recognition with his 1970 album Sweet Baby James and the hit single “Fire and Rain”. The next year he had the biggest hit of his career with the #1 hit “You’ve Got A Friend”, which earned him a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance. Over four decades later his warm baritone, introspective lyrics and unique guitar playing still blaze a path to which young musicians aspire. To date, he’s sold over 100 million albums and earned 40 gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards. Taylor has been inducted into both the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His songs have had a profound influence on songwriters and music lovers from all walks of life, and include hits like “Country Road”, “Your Smiling Face”, “Sweet Baby James”, “Shower The People” and “Mexico”. In the summer of 2015 Taylor released Before This World, his first new studio album in thirteen years, which earned him his first ever #1 album.
GENEROUSLY UNDERWRITTEN BY:
In a career marked by artistic triumphs, the past few years for Taylor have been notable for both creative virtuosity and recognition of exceptional achievement. In 2011, Taylor was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. Then in 2015, Taylor was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor. This past December he was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, which are presented annually to individuals who have enriched American culture by distinguished achievement in the performing arts.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW TO BUY A SEAT AT THE BLACK TIE DINNER Visit varietystl.org and click on Dinner with the Stars. Tickets purchased through Variety start at $1,000 and include a cocktail reception, dinner, program, and a performance by James Taylor. For more information, contact Wes at 314-720-7710, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAN & WOMAN OF THE YEAR WARNER BAXTER
This year’s Man of the Year is Warner Baxter, the chairman, president and chief executive officer of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. A board member of Variety, Warner is also active in a number of other civic and industry organizations, including The MUNY, Barnes Jewish Hospital, American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer, and the Edison Foundation’s Institute for Electric Innovation. Our woman of the year is community volunteer Carol Voss. On her own, and with her husband Tom, Carol is deeply involved with a number of St. Louis’ treasured institutions, from Dance St. Louis and St. Louis Ballet, to the Chamber Music Society and the Black Repertory Theatre. She also co-chaired STL 250, a year-long celebration of St. Louis’ 1764 founding. We congratulate Warner and Carol on their honors, and welcome them to the long list of civic-minded St. Louisans Variety has recognized through the years.
CAROL VO SS
VARIETY WEEK SUPPORT VARIETY CLUB PARTNERS
David & Thelma
AMBASSADOR & MRS. SAM FOX DAVID B. LICHENSTEIN FOUNDATION DENNIS & JUDY JONES FOUNDATION
VARIETY KID PROFILE: MIA B. A recent visit to one of Variety kid Mia B.’s speech therapy sessions gave no indication that, until recently, she’d always been hooked up to something to help keep her alive. But her mom says that was the case, and the joy and sense of relief on her face as she talked about it in the past tense was palpable. Mia was born with DiGeorge syndrome, a condition in which a small segment of chromosome 22 is missing. The second most common genetic disorder after Down syndrome, it can cause heart defects, gastrointestinal problems, and feeding problems. Mia had all of those. And more. In fact, at the age of 6 months, and within 10 days’ time, Mia underwent two heart repair surgeries. She’s also had several intestinal surgeries, severe reflux, a bacterial infection in her lungs and heart, and multiple bouts of pneumonia. All of this contributed to feeding problems, which, until recently, necessitated the use of a g-button feeding tube.
We’re happy to report that, thanks to an intensive therapy regimen, Mia no longer has a feeding tube, is now eating more varieties of food than her older sister, and is, in the words of her mom, “making up for lost time.” Of course, learning to eat was only one of the developmental delays Mia’s had to face. Her ability to speak is still way behind the typical 4 year-old’s, and she’s now working on that with the help of another group of therapists, again through funding from Variety’s TherHappy program. How’s it going? Well, fittingly, Mia’s first words every day, spoken almost perfectly, are, “I want to eat.” Her mom had words of her own she wanted us to hear. Namely that, because of Variety, her family found “peace of mind that the whole burden isn’t on us. I’m so thankful to all those who care.” Because of your generous support, Mia is guaranteed to have much more to say. And after that, what more could we say? Except, thanks.
But there’s a difference between feeding and eating, and there were concerns Mia may never learn to eat on her own. The solution lay in finding a place skilled in helping children like Mia, and in getting consistent, frequent therapy. Luckily, Mia’s parents, with funding from Variety’s TherHappy program, found just what they needed at a local clinic that specializes in kids with developmental delays.
Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis 11840 Westline Industrial Drive Suite 220 St. Louis, MO 63146
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It’s one week. It’s some week. IT’S VARIETY WEEK. April 22-29, 2017 | Mark your calendar to help Variety Kids!
Runway Lights Fashion Show: Page 3
Variety Family Celebration: Page 3
Variety in the Morning: Page 4
Imo’s for Kids Day: Page 4
Phone: (314) 720-7700 • www.varietystl.org
Dinner with the Stars: Page 5
Spring Spotlight Issue from Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis, with details about upcoming Variety Week activities.