Variety Club Telethon

Give a Little Bit, Personal, TV, Western New York / Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

It’s nice to know some things in this crazy fast paced online digital mobile age never change….

I don’t know the last time I clicked on the TV and saw The Telethon, 20 years maybe? Gosh likely even more 27 years? And yes, there is only one Telethon – the Variety Club Telethon.

Growing up, the Smith family was a Channel 7 News family. For some reason, watching the telethon was just something we did every year.

Yes, we would get excited when we would see the phone number for DUNKIRK to appear on the screen (remember back in the day a phone call to Buffalo was long distance!) Yes, we would get excited watching the names scroll pass on the crawl and find someone we knew. Even better if Irv called out a name out loud! ONE YEAR we even called and made our own pledge!!! These were exciting times back in the day.

I randomly happened upon the fact that the Goos would be performing on The Telethon while strolling through Twitter this morning.

After an afternoon marathon of slothing and depression and watching The Kennedy’s (which is really good by the way…) I turned over to see if the news was on.


Honestly, I feel like I stepped into a time-machine and I’m back in 1987. Everything is exactly the same. Calling out the volunteers to stand until the phones ring. Cheezy music. Corporate challenges. Awkward exchanges with shy children.

The phone numbers on the bottom of the screen, the donation scroll. The donation board!


How is this possible?

Aside: I now have a whole new perspective on where the seeds of my fundraising/marketing/PR/media/nonprofit self were planted.


Whatcha talkin' bout Willis?