2006-2007 FROM THE PRESIDENT…
Variety – The Children’s Charity Mark Vukovich
Ofﬁcers & Board of Directors
The culmination of our year happens March 3rd and 4th
when Variety conducts the largest telethon in Iowa. Since
PRESIDENT Mark Vukovich our ﬁrst telethon in 1975, Variety has given nearly 70 million
dollars to over 300 children’s charities in all 99 counties,
1ST VICE PRESIDENT Steve Eden and put nearly 300 Sunshine vans on the road to transport
children. Variety’s mission of helping children and making a
2ND VICE PRESIDENT Dave Southwell
difference in their lives is always our end goal.
TREASURER Stan W. Reynolds
I would like to thank everyone involved in Variety, the
SECRETARY Joanne Mangold executive committee, the board of directors, the staff,
and all of our dedicated volunteers who have served on
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Lana Jones-Gould numerous committees or as VIP’s. A special thanks this year
goes to Bill and Wicker Van Orsdel for all the West Glen
grand opening events and the proceeds they generated
Kim Baer Sheila Hourigan Vicky Slagle
Bill Boyd Pat Knueven Jill Smith This year the honorary chairs for central Iowa are Bob
Rod Burns Linda Koehn Kari Smith and Cynthia Cramer. They are dedicated to improving the
Diane Caldbeck Kathryn Kunert John Snyder lives of Iowa’s special needs children through the Variety
Reynolds Cramer Scott N. Linn Ron Taylor fund raising process. I am thankful for their efforts and
April Daily Jeff Lorenzen Kirk Tibbetts their friendship.
Les Davis Pauline Lund Wicker VanOrsdel
Rosalie Gallagher Dave Maurer Nick VanPatten As we approach the telethon, we all must remember that
Kyle Gamble Soozie McBroom Zac Voss the need of Iowa’s children has never been greater. Without
Eileen Gannon Drew McLellan Eric Walker Variety – The Children’s Charity, thousands of children would
Toni Gerleman Karen Novak Jon Wendel lead less comfortable, productive, and happy lives. Those
Steve Gooding Marshall Porter Brad Winterbottom children challenged by physical and mental disabilities,
Terence Greenley Joe Proctor Maria Wittern poverty, abuse, and neglect would suffer even more. It is
Susan Heun Maury Reding Han Wu our responsibility as the largest children’s charity in Iowa
Laura Hollingsworth Scott Rundall to raise as much money as we possibly can to prevent this
VARIETY INTERNATIONAL Thanks for all that you do,
Mike Reilly Jody Reynolds Stanley J
Steve Blank Jody Reynolds Kirk Tibbetts
Stanley J. Reynolds Keith Swanson Dave Maurer
Mike Reilly Jim Spratt Joe Proctor
Ray Johnson Eric Turner Gregg Gustafson
J Glasnapp Bruce Sherman Suzie Glazer Burt
Mike Anderson Mike Knapp Rosalie Gallagher
Jack Pray Loretta Sieman Jack Price
Jim Willer Brad Winterbottom Terry Greenley
Steve Jacobs Charles Taylor Lana Jones – Gould
2 HEART OF VARIETY FEBRUARY, 2007
Bob and Cynthia Cramer are the central Iowa Honorary Chairs for the
33rd Annual Variety Telethon to be held on March 3 and 4, 2007.
Bob is the retired President and Chief Operating Ofﬁcer of Fareway Stores Inc.,
Cynthia & Bob Cramer
headquartered in Boone, Iowa. Fareway is the leading economical retail grocery
company in the Midwest. The company specializes in selling USDA Choice beef, non
injected pork and poultry cut to order for your selection, and top quality produce.
They are closed on Sunday, while being open, 8 am- 9 pm, Monday through Saturday,
serving the public in over 93 locations in three states.
“Community involvement has always been a priority for me personally and
professionally.” said Cramer.
Cramer is actively involved throughout the community working with various
charities and philanthropic organizations, including serving as President of the
Boone Educational Endowment Foundation, President of Iowa Grocers Educational
Foundation, and on the boards of National MDA, Boone County Family Y, Boy Scouts
of America and the Greater Des Moines YMCA. Additionally he serves as a Trustee to
Buena Visa University and on the boards of Boone Bank & Trust and Ames National
“We certainly believe in Variety’s mission of
supporting children’s charities throughout
Cynthia serves as President of Chapter NP, PEO, board member of the Foundation Iowa. When asked to serve as Honorary
for the Boone Area Humane Society, Lowell Club Study Group, Quester’s and last, but Chairs for Telethon 2007, the timing was just
certainly not least, as a supporter of Variety – The Children’s Charity of Iowa. right and we were thrilled to represent all of
Bob and Cynthia have a long history in supporting Variety – The Children’s Charity the volunteers in Iowa that work so hard for
the beneﬁt of the kids.”
of Iowa, with 25 years of annual support for a number of Variety activities, including
the Black Tie Dinners, Polo on the Green, the Stars Dinner and VIP Panel fund raising.
“ We believe Variety is especially effective be-
The Cramer family attended their ﬁrst Telethon in 1982. cause of its dedicated and passionate staff.
They and all the volunteers make a differ-
ence, and in addition, they all seem to have a
good time while doing their great work.”
Variety – The Children’s Charity of Iowa is honored to have Thomas J. Berthel as
EASTERN IOWA honorary chair for the 2007 Eastern Iowa Telethon.
HONORARY CHAIR Berthel is the Chief Executive Ofﬁcer and Chairman of the Board of Berthel Fisher
& Company, a ﬁnancial services holding company located in Marion, Iowa. Variety
Tom Berthel touched the lives of Berthel’s family when his twin grandchildren spent their ﬁrst days
in a hospital with Variety’s name on the walls. Tom and his wife, Deanna, visited the
twins frequently in Des Moines’ Blank Children’s Hospital.
“My foursome won a charity golf outing in the summer of 2006, and we knew
Variety would be the perfect recipient for our prize,” said Berthel. “Variety played a
part in caring for my grandchildren, so it was the least I could do.”
The 21st Annual Eastern Iowa Variety Telethon will air March 5-9 during the
morning, midday, and early evening news broadcasts on KWWL – Channel 7. More
than 500 Eastern Iowa volunteers will participate. The phone panels will be in the
KWWL studio in Waterloo, as well as in the Alliant Tower lobby in Cedar Rapids during
Berthel is actively involved throughout the community working with various
charities and philanthropic organizations, including the Midwest Division Board for the
American Cancer Society. In addition, the associates and employees of Berthel Fisher
& Company will pledge their time during the Telethon on three phone panels.
“Community involvement has always been a priority for me personally and
professionally,” said Berthel. “I am looking forward to appearing on the telethon to
encourage others to support this worthy cause with their pledges.”
Berthel Fisher & Company provides full-service securities brokerage services for
investors representing over 350 registered representatives in 38 states, investment
banking services for mature companies and entrepreneurs, leases and loans for
growing business, and a full array of insurance products.
FEBRUARY, 2007 HEART OF VARIETY 3
BIKES FOR KIDS
reaches out in Eastern Iowa
The Eastern Iowa committee of Variety worked hard this past
year to reach out beyond Cedar Rapids and become a presence
throughout the area.
The Bikes for Kids program in Cedar Rapids typically gives away
70-80 bicycles, helmets, and bike locks to kids whose families
cannot otherwise afford them. This year, however, by work-
ing with the Toys “R” Us store in Cedar Rapids and with Hy-Vee
Volunteers from Variety’s Eastern Iowa committee, from Covenant
Food Stores in Dubuque and Waterloo, Variety nearly doubled Medical Center in Waterloo, and from the University of Northern Iowa
the number of bikes distributed in Eastern Iowa this year. gathered in the parking lot of the University Avenue Hy-Vee in
Waterloo to give bikes to kids this past summer.
Many of the children receiving bikes this year lived with their
families in homeless or domestic-violence shelters. A few spe- Variety’s Bikes for Kids programs
cial kids had been transplanted to Eastern Iowa after Hurricane brought huge smiles to the
Katrina devastated New Orleans. faces of kids in Waterloo
and Dubuque for the
ﬁrst time this year.
The committee will continue to expand the program to other
communities throughout Eastern Iowa, wherever children are in
need of an opportunity like this.
2006 Bikes for Kids
Nothing can compare to seeing a child ride a bike for the very ﬁrst time in their life or to the many smiles, hugs and
thanks when they get that bike. To date this year, Variety – the Children’s Charity of central Iowa has given 362 bikes
to deserving children who would otherwise not have a bicycle of their own. With the help of Young Variety and
numerous volunteers, Variety has held successful events in Winterset, Pella, Fort Dodge, Boone and Des Moines, to
name a few. If you would like to be a part of this wonderful program, or if you would like to sponsor a bike for a
child, contact the Variety ofﬁce at (515)-243-4660.
4 HEART OF VARIETY FEBRUARY, 2007
Invitational raises a new record!
On Tuesday, August 8, Variety’s Eastern Iowa
committee hosted its annual Variety/Leinenkugel
Golf Invitational presented by Weitz at Elmcrest
Country Club in Cedar Rapids. Two hundred and
eighty-two golfers came out to compete and sup-
port Eastern Iowa’s kids, despite occasionally threat-
ening skies. Everyone enjoyed sandwiches provided
by Hy-Vee Food Stores for lunch and a delicious
dinner contributed by the folks at
The volunteer organizers of the event, led by Jim
Lingo of the Collins Road Hy-Vee, successfully
planned a day that included prize opportunities at
all eighteen holes, a putting contest, a silent auction,
hole-in-one prizes, and much more.
The planning and hard work paid off when, at the
Members of the planning committee for Eastern Iowa’s golf event present a check
end of the day, the event raised a whopping for their record-breaking 2006 fundraiser. From right: Jeff Hubler, Mount Vernon
$45,000 for Eastern Iowa’s kids. Road Hy-Vee; Brent Heinz, First Avenue Hy-Vee; Larry Gladson, Elmcrest Country
Club; Jamie Franck, Edgewood Road Hy-Vee; and chairman Jim Lingo, Collins
Catch the Spirits of Spring
in Eastern Iowa
The Cedar Rapids Marriott has, for 18 years, hosted a fantastic
springtime fundraiser for Variety in Eastern Iowa. This year, the
annual wine festival is growing to encompass premium beers
and liquors and will be known as Spirits of Spring!
On Friday, April 27, 7-10 p.m., everyone is invited to the Cedar
Rapids Marriott for delicious hors d’oeuvres, entertaining games,
and a fabulous silent auction. Guests will be able to sample
from hundreds of ﬁne wines, beers, and liquors throughout the
evening and even purchase their favorites
in bulk from representatives from local
Hy-Vee Food Stores.
Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the
door and may be purchased at the Cedar
Rapids Marriott or by calling the Eastern
Iowa Variety ofﬁce at 319-398-6573.
Anyone interested in participating,
Debbie Neumeyer and
contributing, or volunteering for the
Heather Fortune Vestweber
event should contact Shelley at
of the wine festival’s planning
committee enjoy their firstname.lastname@example.org.
evening at the 2006 event.
Eastern Iowa’s annual wine festival has a
new name for 2007 – Spirits of Spring – and
will feature premium beers and liquors in
addition to the usual ﬁne wines.
FEBRUARY, 2007 HEART OF VARIETY 5
BLACK TIE DINNER
Mark Vukovich, Variety President; Cynthia & Bob Cramer, Honorary Chairs; Jamie Pollard, ISU Athletic Director; Gene Chizik, ISU Football
Coach; Laura Hollingsworth & Doug Ireland, event Chairs; Ted Stephens, KPWB and Mike Wilson, KDSM
The 2007 Black Tie Dinner was held on Thursday, January passion for his family (wife Jonna, identical twin daughters
11th, at the Sheraton in West Des Moines. For many years this Landry and Kennedy and son Cally). Gene shared that in his
dinner has been a “must attend” for companies and individuals ﬁrst interview with Jamie Pollard for the ISU coaching position
throughout Iowa, and a top money-raising event for Variety he was told about the work of Variety – and encouraged to
– and this year proved no exception. The evening netted become involved, which he pledged to do. It must be noted
$120,00 for the special needs children of Iowa, through the that Jamie Pollard, Athletic Director for Iowa State University
more than 540 attendees and our generous sponsors. (and last year’s powerful key note speaker) was instrumental
in securing Chizik for this year’s event. Not only was Pollard in
Our ﬁrst speaker of the evening was Variety’s own Reynolds attendance and at our head table for the evening, but he gave
Cramer. Now a member of the board of directors, Reynolds Chizik a lively introduction. Following the event, both Gene
ﬁrst became familiar and involved with Variety through his and Jamie shared their time with the line of attendees wanting
work at Fareway Stores. Later, he and his family became to meet and shake hands with them and thank them for being
beneﬁciaries of Variety’s work and fundraising. Reynolds with us.
shared the brave journey he and his family have taken with their
daughter, Ashley, now 7, through several surgeries and medical New this year, Variety placed individual donation pledge
care--and ultimately her diagnosis with a severe form of autism forms on each table and asked individuals who felt they could
and need for full-time care. Reynolds stressed the criticality make a donation to do so. We also reminded everyone of
and the quality of the assistance he and his family received our upcoming telethon in March and our need for everyone to
through Variety-supported charities and offered his story as help us raise more money for Variety’s children in 2007.
just one of so very many examples of the needs in Iowa.
This year’s event could not have nearly as successful without
Our keynote speaker this year was Gene Chizik. In November, our many dinner sponsors. These included event sponsors
2006, Chizik was hired to replace outgoing coach Dan Iowa Health Systems and Riverside Casino and Golf Resort.
McCarney as head football coach of Iowa State University. Iowa Beverage System, Gallo Winery and Swiss Valley Farms
New to the state of Iowa, the Black Tie dinner was Chizik’s were in-kind sponsors for the night.
ﬁrst speaking engagement in Iowa outside of his coaching
The 2007 Black Tie event was a great success, and hopefully
duties. He shared details about himself, offered inspiring
just the start of more-to-come in this exciting year!
stories from his coaching journey, and shared his insight and
6 HEART OF VARIETY FEBRUARY, 2007
CENTRAL IOWA TELETHON
9pm March 3rd until 6pm March 4th
Stephanie Angelson Brad Edwards Chris Flanagan
SIOUX CITY QUAD CITY
March 4, 2007 March 4, 2007
Larry Wentz Marla Rabe
This is the 21st year that United Airlines has partnered with
Variety – The Children’s Charity in helping ﬂy in the cast of
performers for the Variety Telethon. Over 20 people ﬂy in from
around the country to provide entertainment at the Des Moines Telethon and United has
provided free upgrades. On behalf of the children of Iowa, we salute the friendly skies of
Once again, the caring employee-owners of United Airlines will be working the
toteboard in Des Moines for the entire Telethon. In recognition of the hard work of all
the United Airline employees, we extend a special thanks to David Trachtenberg, United
Airlines Marketing Manager.
THANK YOU, UNITED AIRLINES!!
FEBRUARY, 2007 HEART OF VARIETY 7
2007 TELETHON CAST
Megan Bobo Jason Cook Charles Cozens Dakota Crosswhite Michael Danso Ben Davidson
Miss Iowa Teen USA
Dondino Michael Dore Jim“Hacksaw” Blake Emmons Steve Haberman Greg Hanna
David Anthony Higgins Tatana Kucharova Samantha Murphy Kim Olson Darrin Otto Ed Podolak
Miss World 2006
Dani Reeves Brandon Routh Sara Routh Emma Samms Denise Shipler Alyssa Simmons
Miss Iowa USA
Scott Smith Beth Smith Wicker VanOrsdel
8 HEART OF VARIETY FEBRUARY, 2007