VarietyThe 41st annual Variety Club of Iowa Telethon begins its run tomorrow and runs through Sunday night. The fundraiser is devoted to help Iowa’s children through a series of organizations.

Cheri McMichael, the charity’s executive director, says a list of local, national and international personalities will appear along with dozens of volunteers who give their time and money to support Iowa’s children.

“One of the big pieces of what we do is we provide grants to organizations that provide services to children,” McMichael says. “Our focus is at-risk, underprivileged, special needs, and critically ill children.”

McMichael says the telethon’s proceeds will benefit a roster of projects statewide.

“The dollars that are raised here in Iowa will stay right here in Iowa and they will benefit the kids here in Iowa,” McMichael says. “We want to make sure that we’re paying for equipment or for the expansion of a facility that they’re going to use, but we’re not going to pay for any administrative-type costs.”

McMichael says last year’s telethon was a big success. “We raised $4.1 million and a big piece of that $4.1 million was the Ashley Okland Star Playground which is an all-inclusive playground that Variety raised dollars for and presented to the city of Des Moines,” she says.

The telethon will originate from the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Des Moines beginning at 7 tomorrow night, running through midnight and resuming Sunday morning from 6 AM and running through 6 PM.

If you can’t find it on your local TV channels, it will also be online at

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City