Variety’s Annual Gala

A memorable event to raise funds for children with disabilities and to celebrate kids having the opportunity to discover the possibilities for their lives.
Variety’s 90th Annual Gala will take place on Friday, November 3, 2017 at Heinz Field beginning at 6:00 p.m – honoring two extraordinary individuals. The evening features a full dinner, a silent auction, and Variety’s amazing kids.

Leo Gerard

International President of the United Steelworks will receive our 2017 Catherine Variety Sheridan Humanitarian Award.

Roy Powell

Partner, Jones Day and Variety Board Member will receive our 2017 Advocacy Award.






2017 Silver Sponsors:


2017 Bronze Sponsors:

AFSCME District Council 83

Allegheny County Treasurer, John Weinstein

Altair Management Partners

Arsenal Resources

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney

CDL Nuclear Technologies, Inc.

Clearview Federal Credit Union

Edgar Snyder & Associates

Gateway Financial

Heritage Valley Health System

LANXESS Corporation

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

Parker & Crofford

Pittman Priola & Associates

Rob Kozel & Family

The Pittsburgh Foundation

The Reschini Group

UBS: Wentling Tarquinio Loughney Wealth Consulting Group

WTS, Inc.

A special thanks to Sarris Candies!

Recap of 2016 Gala:

On November 4, 2016, Variety’s 89th Annual Gala celebrated all of the kids that were helped in the last year, and looked towards all of the children that it would impact in the future. The highlight to the evening was Variety’s traditional “bike parade”, in which 9 kids rode their adaptive bikes into the event’s crowd – feeling like superstars!

The evening also welcomed Austin (who recently received a communication device), his father Clark, and brothers. It was a touching moment as Clark gave testimony to how dramatic Austin’s device would be in impacting his life.

Variety’s Gala gave special honor to two champions for our kids and our community, including:

  • Laura Shapira Karet, CEO, Giant Eagle, Inc. for their overwhelming dedication to individuals with disabilities. Under Laura’s leadership, Giant Eagle, Inc. has become an important model in developing an inclusive and diverse workplace, and actively hiring those with disabilities.
  • Robert Kozel, Equity Owner and Board Member of Mountaineer Keystone, Texas Keystone, and Falcon Partners and Variety Board Member. Rob was a true catalyst for Variety’s “My Bike” Program expanded into 10 West Virginian counties. Since it expanded, more than 130 children have received a bike of their own. Rob was brought into Variety through Board Member, Roy Powell, and he has been an advocate ever since.

Additionally, our 2016 Event Co-Chairs were Roy Powell, Partner, Jones Day, Deborah Rice-Johnson, President, Highmark Health Plan, and Joyce Bender, President & CEO, Bender Consulting Services, Inc.

Variety’s Anniversary Gala is held each winter to celebrate the past and invigorate for the future with its first Gala taking place in 1928. The support received each year allows us to continue our work to give kids chances to be free on a ride, a voice of their own, mobile and active with their family, and included alongside one another.

Pictured left to right is Charles LaVallee, Joyce Bender, Deborah Rice-Johnson, and Laura Shapira Karet.

Pictured is Robert Kozel and Roy Powell.

To see a list of past Gala Honorees, please click here.