From raising funds for local youth organizations, veterans groups, individuals in need and the volunteers at the Burbank Animal Shelter, local photographer Deborah Dodge and VFW Post 8310 Capt. Mickey DePalo have proven to be an effective team.
Having made the staging of successful breakfast fundraisers a regular occurrence over this past year, Dodge and DePalo again teamed up to support the work of the Southern California chapter of Variety — the Children’s Charity this past week.
Established by a group of Vaudeville entertainers who initially chipped in to support and educate a baby girl who had been abandoned at the Sheridan Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Christmas Eve in 1928, Variety — the Children’s Charity now helps children in need throughout the United States and abroad.
Having grown to 43 chapters in 13 countries, Variety has raised over $1.7 billion worldwide to assist in the treatment and care of children with special needs.
The nonprofit organization has been embraced by major motion-picture studios, movie-theater chains, national and international retailers, major corporations and individuals.
Among the special guests in attendance at the breakfast fundraiser held at VFW Post 8310’s headquarters on Magnolia Boulevard was Elizabeth O’Neil, executive director of Variety’s Southern California chapter.
“We are very grateful to those who have come out and supported our work today,” O’Neil said.
“At Variety, we make sure 85% of every dollar raised goes directly toward the cause,” O’Neil added. “The funds raised here today will go to where the need is the greatest, and where it will do the most.”
Other special guests included John Hall, who serves as the president of Variety of Southern California, and Jordan Gregory, who is the president of Young Variety, which engages young professionals who connect and network with others committed to enriching the lives of children.
“We’ve done other events in Burbank, but this is the first time we’ve done a breakfast fundraiser,” said Gregory, who said Variety —the Children’s Charity has raised over $60 million for children in Southern California since the chapter’s formation in 1941.
Hall, executive vice president of distribution and marketing at Universal Pictures, said his involvement with Variety came after seeing the dramatic impact the organization has had on the lives of children in need and their families.
“We have been focusing on our mobility program and have recently presented a child from Burbank with a new mobility bike,” Hall said. “When you see kids like him get these bikes, that their families could never afford, it really gets the water works going.”