Unleash the power. That was the theme of Dinner with the Stars 2018, and it was felt throughout the event.
The evening’s program featured Variety Kids, both on stage and on the big screen, as they shared Variety’s mission to help children with special needs, like themselves, find the power within and live their best lives.
Variety Teens Selah and Christopher hosted the program alongside hometown comedian Joe Torry, introducing inspiring videos featuring Variety Kids and their families. The inclusive Variety Children’s Chorus took the stage with a powerful performance of “Larger than Life,” spreading the message that all kids can be anything they can dream up.
Variety Week Kid Willow and her family also made an appearance. They shared the many reasons why Variety is so important, especially when it comes to receiving the equipment that is necessary to maintaining Willow’s quality of life.
Major Variety supporters David Steward, chairman of World Wide Technology and the Steward Family Foundation, and Michael Neidorff, chairman of Centene, were interviewed by Variety Teens so that they could share their own stories about why they choose to support Variety. These organizations act as underwriting partners for the evening so that each dollar raised supports Variety Kids.
Variety also honored L.B. Eckelkamp, Jr. and Cheri Fromm as Man and Woman of the Year. They were celebrated for their dedication to serving a wide range of organizations throughout St. Louis area, striving to make it a better place.
The program was capped off with a spectacular performance from this year’s headliner, John Legend. He had the crowd dancing and singing throughout his concert, which featured his greatest hits, along with a mix of covers that hold special meaning to Legend.
And, in an impactful surprise performance, the Children’s Chorus appeared back on stage to perform “Glory” alongside Legend. During the song, Legend shared his support for Variety Kids, saying how important it is for all people of all abilities to have “equal rights and equal access.”
Dinner with the Stars would not be possible without our underwriting partners, the Steward Family Foundation, World Wide Technology and the Centene Charitable Foundation, or without event chair Marilyn Fox. This was her 22nd year as chair.
And, of course, Dinner with the Stars could not happen without every one of the attendees. Whether you were one of the hundreds of companies and individuals who joined us for the entire gala, or came out to enjoy Variety’s program and John Legend’s performance, Variety St. Louis thanks you for your support in helping us unleash the power within children and teens with special needs.