Meet the Kids: Ethan

Meet the Kids: Ethan

The Benefits of an Adaptive Bike

Ethan’s multiple physical limitations make it dangerous to ride a traditional bicycle, but his therapist knows just how much he would benefit from the physical activity associated with riding an adaptive bike. She wrote Variety KC to tell us about Ethan and Variety donors took it from there!  Now Ethan has a bike of his own and is building head and neck strength, increasing circulation, working on balance and core strength. Thank you Variety donors!  You’ve changed the lives of so many kids during the recent Adaptive Bike Radiothon with 102.1.  It’s not too late, you can help too – visit

Meet the Kids: Lindy

Meet the Kids: Lindy

Adaptive Bike helps with Motor Skills

During our recent radiothon for adaptive bikes, Variety KC heard of so many deserving kids with special needs who could benefit from a bike. Lindy is one of those kids. She’s a social active toddler who experienced an adaptive bike at the Lee Ann Brittan Center. She was able to independently pedal on the very first try! Having an adaptive trike of her own would allow her to build gross motor skills and spend time outdoors with her family and friends. Doesn’t every child deserve a chance to ride a bike?  Contact us today to help –

Meet the Kids: Isaac

Meet the Kids: Isaac

Paralysis Can’t Slow Him Down

Isaac was born with a rare condition causing paralysis in his lower extremities, but that doesn’t stop Issac! He’s an active little guy and just loves sports! With the right kind of wheelchair, Isaac would be able to participate in a variety of wheelchair sports. Instead of sitting on the bench, he’ll be out competing – just like his brother and friends. Variety’s generous donors heard about Isaac and made sure he received the wheelchair he needed. Making sure all kids get a chance to Be Active, Be Social and Belong – find out how you can help HERE.

Meet the Kids: Noa

Meet the Kids: Noa

The Growing Pains of Living with a Mobility Disability

One of Noa’s greatest pleasures in life is spending time outdoors with her family. Today, at age 11, Noa has outgrown her bike trailer and family outings are at a standstill. Variety KC believes all kids should Be Active, Be Social, and Belong…and that means Noa belongs back on the bike trails with her family. Noa will have her new trailer in time for summer fun, but there are so many more kids like her that need larger equipment as they grow. Can you help? You can help a child get back outdoors HERE. Thank you!

Jill DeBok: 2016 Presidential Citation

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Variety KC was proud to nominate longtime Variety supporter Jill DeBok for the Presidential Citation. Her dedication is an amazing example of how, through engagement, a one-time volunteer can grow to become an important contributor and asset. For more than a decade, Jill has supported Tent 8, and has been a board member and volunteer for more than eight years, serving as board President in 2014.

Jill works for Pepsi America. She was first introduced to Variety through her client and Variety supporter Nancy Pagel, of the HyVee grocery stores. Initially, Jill was involved by providing donations, volunteering and attending events with Nancy, but Jill’s involvement grew over the years to include the board’s presidency.

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As the mother of a very active girl, Jill feels deeply for Variety Kids and their families. Her commitment has never wavered – not as she went back to school to pursue her masters, and not with increased responsibilities at work.  She also encourages her daughter to volunteer at events, raise funds and assist with starting Teen Variety KC.

Jill’s enthusiasm for Variety’s mission is demonstrated in the way she involves others. Working for a company that partners with major community events and organizations, Jill has opened many doors and exposed so many new partners, donors and volunteers to Variety. Being able to spread the Variety story is important for Jill, and through her, Tent 8 has been able to have messages displayed on the back of highly visible Pepsi trucks and at professional sports venues. Her influence doesn’t end at the Kansas/Missouri state lines; she shares her experiences with co-workers in other markets, encouraging them to seek out Variety tents in their own communities. Jill takes every opportunity to apply for community grants from Pepsi, recruit volunteers, provide products for numerous large scale events, and secure large corporate sponsorship for Variety fundraisers.

Her skill set and background includes the development of talent and leadership. Nowhere is that more evident than on the Variety Board of Directors. It was under her board involvement and leadership that Tent 8 saw some of its most successful years of growth and created a seven year strategic plan for sustainability. Even after stepping down from the presidency, Jill remains more passionate than ever, mentoring new members and engaging new volunteers.

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From donating soda, to donating time, to more than a decade of generously giving of her time and resources – Jill DeBok is the very definition of a Variety supporter. She explains it herself by saying, “it starts when you meet your first Variety Kid and see the life-changing impact that an adaptive bike or stander can make. And you want to see more of that…more smiling children, more parents with a bit of relief on their faces. For me, that was a bit of a honeymoon phase. After really getting involved with Variety, you realize these success stories don’t just happen. It takes work, it takes resources. For me, doing what it takes to make more of these happy endings happen – that is the greatest reward of all.”

It is for tremendous attitude and her contagious leadership style that Jill DeBok received the Variety International Presidential Citation Award.

See how you can get involved with Variety, too by visiting

North Star Academy Community Living


Variety works with partner organizations all over our area. As the newest initiative of the CLO Children’s Network, North Star Academy Community Living provides on-site services for individuals ages 5 to 22 with intellectual or developmental disabilities, aiming to “improve the quality of intervention services and enrich the lives of our students.” 13619978_1310472512296538_3792168157234976867_n

North Star Academy Community Living reached out for help in acquiring an adaptive bicycle. This bike would be used as a way for the individuals they serve to exercise and gain strength.

One gift, touching many lives. Variety is proud to be a good steward of our donor’s gifts, maximizing every dollar spent and spending less than ten percent on administrative costs. As a volunteer organization with just one full-time paid employee, we make sure the money you give gets to the children you want to help. Want to know more?