Baby Catherine

It started with one baby…

On Christmas Eve in 1927, a baby girl was found on a seat at the Sheridan Square Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A note pinned to her dress read:

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 out for her. – A Heartbroken Mother


Variety Founders


Catherine, as an adult






As a result, Variety Club International (now Variety The Children’s Charity) was founded by the eleven entertainers who discovered Baby Catherine. Its sole purpose was to help the less fortunate and to lend a hand to various civic and charitable organizations. Variety is a not-for-profit organization that takes pride in providing programs and services to special-needs children.

Currently, Variety has over fifty (50) chapters (called tents) nationally and internationally.


Variety exists today for one reason – to help children-in-need.


Donna Draves and Connie Ginakes

Variety Orlando (Tent 70) was founded in 1989, by Donna Draves and Connie Ginakes for the purpose of helping the “special needs” children of Central Florida. Sponsored and mentored by Variety Palm Beaches (now closed), Donna and Connie worked to grow an organization of all volunteers who understood the great feeling that helping a child gives you. In November 2008, the Orlando board of directors, with the approval of US Variety, voted to expand its area to encompass the state of Florida.

Variety Florida raises money throughout the year through the sale of Gold Heart Pins in theatres across the state and fundraising events such as the Oscar Night® America party, Dunhill Wine Tasting, Albertson’s™ Golf Tourney and more.

Monies raised support programs like Kids on the Go! (our mobility initiative supporting individual children with special needs), Variety at Work (working hands-on with local children) and giving monetary contributions to local “Variety” charities.

Variety Florida is about raising money, working with kids “hands-on” and having FUN doing it. We invite you to share in our efforts with your money, your imagination, your energy and your HEART. You will be glad you did! Thank you for your help from the children we serve.