One evening in 1927, a group of 11 theatre owners and showmen in Pittsburgh heard whimpering outside their door. Upon investigating, they discovered a one month-old baby girl to whom her mother had pinned a note:
“Please take care of my baby. Her name is Catherine. I can no longer take care of her. I have eight others. My husband is out of work. She was born on Thanksgiving Day. I have always heard of the goodness of show business people and pray to God that you will look after her.”
Proud that this mother had entrusted her precious child to them, the club members set out to raise money for Catherine’s care. The members found themselves inundated with help from those inspired by Catherine’s story, and the so-named Variety Club evolved into a charity in 1928 to help other disadvantaged and orphaned children. Today, Variety, the Children’s Charity has a network of 45 offices in 14 countries. Variety Manitoba, established in 1978, operates with a volunteer board of directors, dedicated volunteers, and a small staff in support of children of all abilities in Manitoba.