This is Anna Maria Lagona.  Anna Maria was our Celebrity Child for the Variety Kids Telethon that took place in 1995!

Anna Maria has continued to be a very familiar face over many years at Variety and she is simply a pleasure to have around.  We caught up with her to see how things are going recently, and here is what she had to say…

Q&A with 1995 Celebrity Child: Anna Maria Lagona

What year were you a Variety Child?

Anna Maria: I was the Celebrity Child in 1995.

What did you love most about being a celebrity child?  Do you have any special memories you would like to share?

Anna Maria: I loved helping out other kids with disabilities. I remember one of the big focuses of my telethon was “Kids Helping Kids,” and that there is always a tomorrow. I also remember Irv Weinstein singing “I’m a Little Teapot!”

What would you say to our donors and viewers who watch the Telethons?

Anna Maria: I would say a quote from the late Irv Weinstein, “Ladies and gentleman, take a look at the pictures on your fridge and your mantle. Now think of those pictures and please call us with your pledge.” 

At a very young age, when I was at Children’s Hospital and I looked around, there was a plaque on the wall of Variety Club Women and Variety Club Tent #7. All I had to do was look at that plaque to know that Variety would be there for the rest of my life. 

Variety also gave me a scholarship for my college education. What a lot of people don’t know about the telethon is that a lot of those funds go directly to people like me: I was born at 1 pound, 2.7 ounces, had over 20 surgeries, and I’m still kicking it 😊!

My family and I saw directly throughout my life where the Variety money has gone to and we could not be more grateful. 

What are you up to lately, Anna Maria?

Anna Maria: The gym that I work at used to be called SowFit Buffalo Sports and Fitness, but because we have a new location and we are also a non for profit gym-our name of our new gym  is called: FitnessAbility,Inc. I can’t wait until we physically open again and I am able to instruct my two classes that  I teach which are offered at FitnessAbility,Inc.

In the meantime my personal goal is to continue becoming the best instructor in both of my classes but I know that this personal goal can be achieved with practice, reviewing my materials and I have some FUN along the way as well!

Anna Maria, would you like to tell us anything additional about your like or any interesting facts you would like to share?

Anna Maria: My licensed multi-service dog named Dodger passed away this year. Even though he is not with us physically, I know that he is very happy with the work that I’ve done in the community with Variety Club, and also working at my dream job at FitnessAbility Inc.

This is what VARIETY is all about. We kindly ask that you consider donating to our Variety Kids: Donate Now