Variety Unbound Kickoff

“You’ve got a friend in me.”

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as the Variety Children’s Chorus sang these words to an audience filled with friends on April 21S t at our special event, Variety Unbound: An Evening of Empowerment. It was a joyful celebration and a reunion as we gathered for an in-person event for the first time in two years.

As always, the kids were the stars of the show, from start to finish.

When guests first arrived, they were ushered into The Factory and led through an immersive experience highlighting each of Variety’s programs: Medical Equipment, TherHappy Kids, Recreation, and Performing Arts. At each station of the tour, guests watched a brief video story of a child whose life has been impacted by Variety.

Guests were able to meet some of the children and their families throughout the evening in-person and on stage. Variety Kid Paul, who has found a home in the Variety Performing Arts Program, sang and danced throughout the evening’s performances. “When I’m on stage singing and dancing, I just feel exhilarated,” he shared in his feature video.

The audience felt this exhilaration as they enjoyed ongoing performances through the dinner program. Tony Award winning Broadway star, Ali Stroker, led the program with Variety Teen, Nick George. Ali sang for the audience and shared her own personal testimony from the stage.

Injured in a car accident as a child, Ali was paralyzed from the waist down, leaving her unable to walk. Ali talked about how the challenges she faced did not hold her down but empowered her to find her place in the world and ultimately, reach her dream of becoming a Broadway star, and the first ever to perform in a wheelchair.

This message of empowerment highlighted the Fund-A-Need and official launch of the Variety Unbound spring campaign. The generous gifts received that night kicked off the $2 million goal campaign that will run through the month of May.

The Variety Unbound campaign celebrates empowerment and the ways in which kids and their families access the tools they need to make everyday dreams come true – from eating and sleeping to becoming a Broadway star, like Ali. It was fitting then, to end the evening with Ali and Variety Kids on stage singing, “A Million Dreams.”

Variety Unbound raised more than $420,000 towards our $2 million goal, thanks to all who participated in the event. Thanks for leading way toward empowering local kids with disabilities!

**Help Variety The Children’s Charity of St. Louis reach the $2 million goal!**

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