Fifty Years of Helping BC’s Kids
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
We’re coming up on Valentine’s Day and that means that a BC tradition, The Variety Show of Hearts Telethon, is back, and it’s celebrating a big milestone this year. In the past 50 years, a lot of people in British Columbia have raised millions of dollars for the Variety Club, which is nicknamed The Children’s Charity. Variety is a charity that helps children in British Columbia that need assistance with their medical needs—and they always say yes to children who need help!
They fund a variety of things including hearing aids, speech therapy, hospital costs, Sunshine Coaches (child specific life coaches), medical equipment, and medication. They help families take care of their kids and help those kids to become independent. I’ve watched the telethon over the past decade and there have been a lot of amazing moments throughout the years. One very memorable one was when one of the featured kids in the telethon liked to do ballet and the kid got to dance on live television. Also, there was a featured kid who was in a wheelchair that needed to get around her house, and Variety helped her by installing an elevator in her home.
Two years ago, a featured child who liked Michael Bublé got a message from him and he gave her various gifts including tickets for an upcoming concert. Another time, Sesame Street’s Bob McGrath (a regular in the telethon) read a story and the mascots of several major sports teams and various organizations in the Lower Mainland joined him on set. Last year, during Steve’s Little Darlings, Steve Darling surprised his featured kids with some of the characters from Star Wars including Darth Vader, some stormtroopers, C-3PO and R2-D2. Various other famous people were involved in the telethon in the past few decades including Michael J. Fox in 1985, Sarah MacLachlan in 1991, and Bublé, who performed in the telethon in 1998 before he was famous.
While it is unknown what will happen in the telethon this year, there will definitely be special guests and many surprises along the way. The telethon will take place in the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam, with a special concert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the telethon in the Centre for Performing Arts. Some of the people that will perform in the concert are 54-40, Jim Byrnes, and Chilliwack. A lot of amazing things will happen during the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon this year, and hopefully those things will cause a lot of people to donate to help BC’s kids. The Variety Show of Hearts Telethon will air between February 13 and February 14 on Global.
Donations will be accepted during the telethon by calling 604-669-KIDS.