Nicolas Schwuchow, seven, was diagnosed at a young age with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a genetic disease which limits his ability to build and maintain muscle. He appeared on the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon on Sunday. This year’s telethon raised $5,515,238 for children with special needs. More at mapleridgenews.com. (Contributed)

Maple Ridge boy on Variety show of Hearts Telethon

Nicolas Schwuchow, 7, appeared on the telethon on Sunday

The Variety Show of Hearts Telethon raised 5,515,238 this year to benefit children with special needs.

Broadcast from Hard Rock Casino Vancouver’s Show Theatre, this years show featured an array of life-changing stories, the always popular magic moments and the unveiling of the 608th Sunshine Coach to the Tong Louie Family YMCA.

“I’m overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of B.C. as the needs for kids in the various communities throughout our province has never been so great,” said Cally Wesson, Variety BC CEO.

“This over-the-top total shows how British Columbians are committed to making a difference in the lives of BC’s kids with special needs. It really is remarkable and we’re just so truly appreciative,” she said.

Musical performances took place by Said the Whale, Shawn Austin, Wide Mouth Mason, Todd Richard and special guests, The Tenors. Also making their Show of Hearts debut this year was actor Paul Greene and inspirational speaker Cara E. Yar Khan.

For more than 50 years Variety – the Children’s Charity has provided direct help to children with special needs in British Columbia.

Since 2010, the charity has distributed more than $33 million in funding to families and organizations in communities all across the province.

Variety’s core grant areas range from mobility programs and life-saving medical equipment to specialized therapies, mental wellness counselling and educational programs.

Donations can still be made online at variety.bc.ca or by texting “KIDS” to 45678 to make an automatic $20 donation.Nicolas Schwuchow, who was diagnosed at a young age with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a genetic disease which limits his ability to build and maintain muscle, appeared on the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon on Sunday. (Contributed)

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