In 1962, Dr. Robert Warner wanted to make his aspiration to have a rehabilitation center for kids with special needs a reality. To make this happen, Warner reached out to Variety Club, which is an organization that helps Western New York’s sick, disabled, and disadvantaged children. Variety Club helped organize the first Annual Kids Telethon, which ended up raising over $80,000 for the cause. From there, the Robert Warner Rehabilitation Center for Children with Special Needs joined the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. Every year since, the people of Western New York open their hearts and support this amazing cause. All the money stays local to fund many different nonprofit children’s organizations, and the hospital.
I had the honor of volunteering at this amazing event several times. My job was to receive phone calls coming in and manage credit card donations. It is a very fast-paced environment with very bright TV lights. I always looked forward to doing my part in helping this organization get every donation possible. An added bonus to the years that I volunteered was seeing Robby Takac and Johnny Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls perform. I was able to watch them sing and sneak a picture with them afterwards, all while helping raise funds for an amazing cause. This event has given me countless memories that I will never forget and has continued to help countless children in my community which only makes me prouder to be a part of it.
The 61st Annual Variety Kids Telethon is happening this Saturday and Sunday (March 4th 6pm-11pm and March 5th 10am-8pm). You can watch it on WGRZ (Channel 2) or WBBZ (Channel 5). Don’t forget to donate now on their website or this weekend with a phone call!
Written by Sara Dembski