25th Telethon Surpasses $4 Million

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Friday, February 9, 2024

The 25th Telethon marked another successful milestone - the first time we raised over $4 million!


Two telecasts originated simultaneously from Adventureland Palace Theatre near Des Moines and Collins Plaza Hotel in Cedar Rapids. The 1999 Telethon appeared on WOI in central Iowa, KCRG in eastern Iowa, KCAU in Sioux City, WHBF in the Quad Cities, and on TCI Cable stations throughout the state - which reached 98% of Iowa and into bordering areas of Illinois, Nebraska, and South Dakota. 


"Thanks for all you did to help make Variety Club's 25th Telethon such a success. A special thank you to Myron & Jackie Blank, the Honorary Chairs of our 25th Telethon, who challenged donors by matching every dollar raised from $3.5 million to $4 million. With their help and the help of the Executive Committee, Board, and office staff, we raised over $4.5 million for special needs children!


As always, there are plenty of thanks to go around. The Cash for Kids program raised more than $1 million, due to the generous support of our sponsors: Hy-Vee (who contributed over $500,000 for the third year in a row), Casey's General Stores (who increased their annual pledge from $125,000 to more than $150,000), Miller Brewing Company, Fareway, Dahl's, Nash Finch, Pepsi Cola General Bottlers, and SUPERVALU, plus dozens of other food brokers and manufacturers. Our telethon VIPs continue to do a great job raising more than $800,000 for children by soliciting most of the 13,000 pledges received at the telethon. United Airlines and British Airways once again flew in the cast, who donated their tremendous talent to helping children.


Adventureland, as they have for the past 24 years, contributed their facility for the Telethon, which was simultaneously telecast throughout the state on WOI, KCRG, KCAU WHBF-TV, and TCI Cable. As you can see, the list goes on and on. Suffice to say, the generosity of lowans towards children in need is overwhelming.


However, the need exceeds the funds raised. In fact, the money we raised covers just over half the amount of requests we received this year. So, even as we reflect on a great year, our challenge for next year continues to grow. Here's to the next 25 years!" - Dave Maurer, Variety Club President, 1999


Help Variety continue our Telethon legacy by tuning in to our Telethon Spotlight Special on March 2 at 7 PM on We Are Iowa Local 5 News to learn more about Variety's history of helping children in need and donate now to support this year's 50th Telethon! 


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