Say hello to our friend, Nick Sabato. Nick was our Variety Celebrity Child in 1994. We had the pleasure of working with Nick over the years and he was kind enough to participate in some Q & A, share some photos and a video message.

Q&A with 1994 Celebrity Child: Nick Sabato

What year were you a Variety Child, and how old were you?

Nick Sabato: I was a celebrity child in 1994 and I was four years old at the time.

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

Nick Sabato: As a kid, I was able to meet some cool people and go to a variety of different events that I would not have otherwise been able. But some of the opportunities I received as an adult were more impactful. I was able to call upon relationships with some amazing people like John Murphy, John Disciullo and Sue Dobmeier that produced college internships at WKBW and WIVB. My family and I also developed life-long friendships with so many people in Variety, including my chairperson, Margie Arnold, who has been so gracious and kind to me for more than 25 years.

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

Nick Sabato: It is important to not view people with disabilities through a stereotypical lens. Our stories aren’t meant to be pitied or inspirational. There are few “normal” things that we can’t do, it just might look a little different, which makes people with disabilities are some of the most creative people on the planet. When donating to Variety Club, it is not to aid in a tragic circumstance. Money donated helps in upgraded medical facilities, equipment and testing that ultimately helps children with disabilities pursue passions, dreams and opportunities as all kids are meant to strive for.

What are you up to lately, Nick?

Nick Sabato: I am 30 years old, living in Mitchell, South Dakota, where I work as a sports reporter for the Mitchell Republic. My wife, Danielle, and I moved here from northern Wisconsin in August 2018. My disability is a spinal cord injury, C7 to T4.

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

Nick Sabato: I think it is important to note that the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act recently passed and Variety Club plays an important role in furthering the spirit behind the legislation. There is a perception that a disability is an all-encompassing limitation and prevention from typical day-to-day activities. Those perceptions and any discrimination are built out of ignorance. Many people have never interacted with a disabled person on a deep level and the telethon provides a bridge to that gap. It gives people like me a microphone and an avenue to say, ‘I’m here and I’m no different than you,’ when few other organizations will.

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