Variety of Eastern Tennessee
Variety of Eastern Tennessee
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Variety of Eastern Tennessee - Emerald Youth Foundation

Much like the first Variety Tent in Philadelphia, Variety of Eastern Tennessee was born out of the spirit of helping children. Two children, Francine and Ryan who happen to be the children of parents within the entertainment industry, inspired the Eastern Tennessee chapter. Both children were born with special needs, but they also possess inspiring spirit and determination to overcome their disabilities.

Variety of Eastern Tennessee - Ryan and FrancineIn 2001, with the help of Regal and two of its former executives, Greg Dunn and Mike Campbell, Francine and Ryan's inspiration culminated in the founding of the Eastern Tennessee chapter (Tent 81) of Variety in 2001. The Variety organization is a long standing charity in the entertainment industry, whose mission is to help disadvantage or disabled children. (Pictured at right: Ryan and Francine)

Chapter 81 has raised over $10 million for children in Eastern Tennessee who are underprivileged, at risk or with special needs. Variety has made donations to numerous organizations who serve at risk children including Emerald Youth Foundation, Second Harvest Food Bank Back Pack for Kids Program, Mission of Hope, Imagination Library, CASA, Child Advocacy Centers of East Tennessee, FISH Hospitality Pantries, Empty Stocking Fund, Tennessee School for the Deaf, Katerpillar Kids Camp, Joni and Friends, Epilepsy Foundation, East Tennessee Technological Access Center "GoBabyGo Rocky Top", Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boy & Girls Clubs throughout Eastern Tennessee, Cerebral Palsy Center, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Youth Arts Alliance, Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties, Family Promise, Ladies of Charity, Small Miracles, Wesley House, Knox Youth Sports, Columbus Home and Children's Emergency Shelter. Working with Carr Rehab, Variety has also provided children with special needs with wheelchairs, walkers, ramps, and special adaptive bikes through our mobility program, Kids on the Go!


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Knoxville Sun Tower

Ijams Nature Center near Knoxville

Above Left: Children showing off their Variety tee-shirts, enjoying a very special Zoo Day at the Knoxville Zoo

Above: Photography of the Sunsphere and Ijams Nature Center by Robert Armbrust

Variety of Eastern Tennessee was created through the generous support of Regal, one of the largest and most geographically diverse theatre circuits in the United States, consisting of 7,211 screens in 549 theatres in 42 states along with the District of Columbia and Guam as of June 30, 2019.

We are honored and privileged to have had their support over these important formative and productive years.