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 took place on Friday, November 3, 2017 at Heinz Field – honoring two extraordinary individuals. The evening featured 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

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 2017 Gala:

On November 3, 2017, Variety’s 90th Annual Gala, “United Together for Kids” 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 Tyler (who received his communication device in June 2017 sponsored by USW International), and his family. It was a touching moment as Tyler demonstrated his device (his voice) and his parents gave testimony to how dramatic the impact has been since he received his device. You can watch a recap of this impact by clicking this link.

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

  • Leo Gerard, International President, United Steelworkers. During the Gala, Leo announced that he and USW International raised more than $500,000 to provide more kids with adaptive equipment. Leo’s commitment, passion, and support for Variety has been overwhelming.
  • Roy Powell, Partner, Jones Day. As a Variety Board Member for more than 10 years, Roy has given his time, insight, and passion to truly help change kids’ lives. Roy has not only helped Variety to build a stronger foundation, but he has helped us to gain extraordinary partners and support over the years. Without Roy, Variety would not be the organization it is today..

Additionally, our 2017 Event Co-Chairs, included:  Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Deborah Rice Johnson, President, Highmark Health Plan, Highmark, Inc., and Robert Kozel, Board Member, Arsenal Resources.

With the community’s help and commitment, Variety launched its “My Bike” Program 5 years ago as an idea, and today, it has grown into an innovative model that’s expanded from 10 to 54 counties through Pa. and West Virginia. Because of the community’s dedication, Variety launched its two other programs in 2014, “My Stroller” and “My Voice” to better meet the needs that our kids face each day.

Since we began this journey 5 years ago, more than 1,975 adaptive bikes, adaptive strollers, and communication devices have been sponsored for kids (more than $3-million worth of equipment).

Together, we have come very far to help these extraordinary kids create amazing possibilities, but we still have so much more to do and many more kids to serve as one community, united together for kids.

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, have a voice of their own, be mobile and active with their family, and included alongside one another.

Pictured left to right is Leo Gerard, Ariel (sister of Tyler), and Former Governor Ed Rendell.

Pictured is Former Governor Tom Corbett, Ariel (sister of Tyler), and Roy Powell.

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