Variety Kid’s Telethon to air on WGRZ-TV & WBBZ-TV Feb. 29 & Mar. 1, 2020
VARIETY KIDS TELETHON TO AIR FOR 16 HOURS ON WGRZ-TV & WBBZ-TV FEBRUARY 29 & MARCH 1, 2020
LANCASTER, NY (November 1, 2019 varietybuffalo.org.) Variety, The Children’s Charity of Buffalo and Western New York announced today that it’s 58th annual Telethon will be telecast Saturday night, February 29th from 6-11 P.M. on WGRZ-TV Channel 2, and continue Sunday, March 1st from 10 A.M. Until 9 P.M. on WBBZ-TV, Channel 67.1 / Cable 5.
The expanded presentation gives Variety the ability to raise awareness and much needed funds for John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, and the other Western New York children’s charities that Variety serves. There will be more time for donor presentations from businesses and volunteers; more local and national talent performances; plus, expanded phone donation and credit card segments to raise the Tote board total for Variety’s special kids.
The Variety Kid’s Telethon in Buffalo is the longest running Telethon in the United States. This legacy television event first aired in 1962 under the direction of the late Dr. Robert Warner, namesake of the Robert Warner Rehabilitation Center at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, along with Variety. The first telecast was from the former WGR-TV Channel 2 studios on Barton St.
From 1963 until 2019, the Telethon was broadcast on WKBW-TV Channel 7 from various locations including their studios on Main Street, 7 Broadcast Plaza, Shea’s Buffalo Theater, and the Executive, Millennium, and Adam’s Mark Hotels. I was a part of that team from 1983 until 2012, then returned for 2017, 2018, and 2019.
The 2020 Telethon will be telecast live from the Seneca Niagara Events Center in Niagara Falls, New York for the third year.
Jim Toellner, President and General Manager of WGRZ commented: “We are excited to bring a great WNY televised tradition to 2 On Your Side, and back to primetime in 2020. We are proud to partner with Variety Club and Oishei Children’s Hospital who have delivered so much care and kindness here, where we call home.”
Phil Arno, owner of WBBZ-TV added, “I grew up in Buffalo watching the Telethon. I know how important this legacy event is for our hometown, which is why Your Hometown MeTV Station is thrilled to support Variety. The entire WBBZ-TV team is honored to bring the show to the next level.”
Paul Cambria, officer and board member said, “Bringing our Telethon to prime time on a Saturday with the help of all of the many personalities from our number one rated TV station to be followed by continuation on Sunday will give us the widest opportunity to raise needed funds to support this great Hospital as well as many other charities. The many dedicated volunteers of Variety have for 58 straight years raised millions of dollars from our great and charitable community. This is truly a labor of love rewarded by the successful care of our children we are very proud of our Variety Telethon tradition.”
The Variety Kids Telethon has raised over 50 million dollars and remains a vital Buffalo tradition. In an age where Telethons have gone off-the-air in many major cities, the Buffalo telethon is growing. Over the years, major television motion picture, and musical artists have appeared alongside local performers, local media personalities and community leaders to help support this great event.
However, the real stars of the Variety Kids Telethon are the children and their families who show how vital the funds are to support programs, equipment, medicine, research, social events, and services that enhance their lives in our hometown.
Variety, The Children’s Charity of Buffalo and Western New York, Tent #7, was chartered on May 12, 1934, serving the needs of WNY’s sick, disabled, and disadvantaged children for over 80 years. As the area’s leading children’s charity, we’re honored to be part of the fabric of this community and to have the public’s trust. That’s why all of our donations stay local and go directly to the equipment and programs that our region’s special kids need most.