75 Children with Disabilities Ride Adaptive Bikes from Variety the Children’s Charity of Southern California

Charity Celebrates 75th Anniversary at LA Live with its Largest-Ever Mobility Grant

LOS ANGELES September 26, 2016 – Yesterday, 75 local children experienced for the very first time something that is a rite a passage for most kids — they rode a bike. Many of these children have cerebral palsy, so they require customized bikes that enables riders to pedal with their arms. These children, some of whom have been on the bike “wish list” for years, experienced the thrill of riding their very own bikes, donated by Variety the Children’s Charity of Southern California, at a special event held at LA Live Microsoft Square.

“It’s hard to describe the feeling of watching a child with special needs ride a bike for the very first time. Many of these kids cannot walk on their own, so when they ride a bike, their disabilities seem to fade away,” said Michael Alvarez, President of the Board of Directors, Variety of Southern California.

“Long considered “The Heart of Show Business,” Variety, the Children’s Charity found its roots in the entertainment industry on Christmas Eve 1928, when a baby girl was found abandoned on the seat of a movie theatre. The show business community rallied to support the child’s upbringing and education and the group has since become an international organization with 43 chapters in 11 countries, raising more than $1.8 billion for children with special needs. Variety the Children’s Charity of Southern California (Variety SoCal) was founded in 1941 and Sunday’s bike donation marks the Chapter’s 75th anniversary of inspiring hope, enriching lives and building a better future for the children of Southern California.

“These adaptive bikes are often too expensive or not covered by insurance, so Variety fills an important gap for the families and organizations we serve,” said Elizabeth O’Neil, Executive Director, Variety the Children’s Charity of Southern California. “These bikes provide children with special needs with confidence, freedom, much needed therapeutic exercise and joy,” O’Neil added.

In addition to the charity’s Mobility Program, Variety SoCal donates more than $800,000 annually to more than 40 organizations who provide education and health care support for children in need. Variety SoCal is also a major supporter of the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Boyle Heights.

About Variety of Southern California

Founded in 1941, Variety the Children’s Charity of Southern California is dedicated to inspiring hope, enriching lives and building a better future for the children of Southern California. Variety awards over three quarters of a million dollars annually to organizations that serve Southern California area children in the areas of Health Care, Education and Mobility. Variety is also a major supporter of the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Boyle Heights.

To learn more, visit www.varietysocal.org.

Elizabeth O’Neil

Variety – The Children’s Charity of Southern California
4601 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 260
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Tel.: (323) 655-1547
Fax: (323) 658-8789
elizabeth@varietysocal.org