Every Dollar Donated Stays in WNY

55th Annual Variety Kids Telethon Airs on WKBW-TV on April 2, 2017



Date:                           3/3/2017

For Release:                Immediate

Contacts:                     Natalie Photiadis, Assistant Director, Variety – the Children’s Charity of Buffalo & Western New
York (t) 716.854.7577 (e) natalie@varietybuffalo.org

Sue Dobmeier, Creative Services Director, WKBW-TV (t) 716.840.7860 (e) sue.dobmeier@wkbw.com


55th Annual Variety Kids Telethon Airs on WKBW-TV on April 2, 2017

2017 Theme “Variety is WNY” Reflects Rich History in Region


LANCASTER, N.Y. – The Variety Kids Telethon, now in its 55th year, will be broadcast live from the Seneca Niagara Events Center in Niagara Falls, New York on Sunday, April 2, 2017 on WKBW-TV from 7 am to 7 pm. The Telethon is a Western New York institution that has garnered tremendous support from the community since it started in 1962, and the 2017 theme of “Variety is WNY” reflects the Telethon’s rich history in the region. All funds raised by the Telethon stay local and support Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo & other children’s charities.

Telethon supporters are Western New Yorkers from all walks of life, ranging from $1 donors who buy candy bars to local unions and schools that organize fundraisers to corporate sponsors who write hefty checks. Many supporters have fond memories of when the Telethon was 21 hours long, and nearly everyone has a personal story that lies behind their support of Variety. The Telethon provides a space for the community to collectively share these stories, and supporters are invited to post on social media using #varietyisWNY and #whyigive, send hand-written notes, or email their Variety stories and photos for a chance to be featured on the Telethon. The Variety Stories section on Variety’s website www.varietybuffalo.org offers more information on this campaign.

Variety is raffling off a 2016 Ford Focus, and the winner will be announced live on the Telethon. Car raffle tickets can be purchased for $1 from the Variety office and at the lower level of the Galleria Mall outside of Macy’s for the entire month of March.

There are several ways to donate to the Telethon. Variety accepts credit card donations over the phone at (716) 854-7577 and checks mailed to the office at 6114 Broadway in Lancaster, NY 14086. On the day of the Telethon, donors can call in to the designated numbers on the television screen to make a credit card or a pledge donation. Donations can be made online at any time through Variety’s website and a $10 donation can be made by texting VARIETY to 20222. Credit card donations made by mail, phone, or online entitle donors to a selection of premium prizes that correspond to six donation categories ranging from $10 to $2,017. These premium packages are listed on Variety’s website and will also be shown on the television screen throughout the Telethon.

The Telethon will be streamed live on www.wkbw.com and will have live updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Follow Variety on Facebook @varietybflo, on Twitter @varietywny, and on Instagram @varietywny.

The primary recipient of funds from the Variety Kids Telethon is Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, and the Robert Warner Center at the new Oishei Hospital will be named for Variety. Over 600,000 doses of medicine are dispensed to babies and their mothers every year at the Variety Pharmacy. A portion of Telethon funds is awarded to other children’s charities as well, with a total of twenty-five agencies and programs funded in 2016. All funds stay local and go directly to the programs and equipment that the region’s kids need most.

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Variety – The Children’s Charity of Buffalo and WNY has been fulfilling its mission to transform, uplift, and enrich the lives of sick, disabled, and disadvantaged children in Western New York for over 80 years and is the region’s leading children’s charity. Visit www.varietybuffalo.org to learn more.