20th November, 2016 – the Big Red Party Launch of Variety Sri Lanka arrived – along with 100 (initially) shy invitees; smart and amazing kids, wearing scarlet Variety tee-shirts and caps for, possibly, their first ever party!
Shyness dissipated once the party got going – delightful kids; beautiful, respectful, funny, giggling, frail, strong, timid, confident, bashful, huggable, captivating, sensitive, feisty, two sharing one wheelchair, many with hearing or sight impairment, those impacted by physical or psychological illness, others from economically disadvantaged families, while some had never known family – either orphaned or abandoned. These were, without exception, kids who needed an afternoon of fun and laughter – the freedom to experience childhood Variety style!
Balloons, face/ hand painting, gyrating to music, catching light beams, cuddling a gigantic Mickey Mouse, pirate fighting with balloon swords, prize picture colouring, winning a prize raffle draw, interacting with new friends, blowing bubbles and wheelchair dancing led to the Grand Finale – the Magic Show!
One hundred kids fascinated and held spellbound at their first magic show is a sight to behold! They gasped; they laughed; they shouted; they applauded; they were puzzled; they joined in the trickery and they were mesmerised – they were living in happy moments – just being kids!
The party was over! The long line of children wearing their Variety kit and beaming smiles snaked towards the door. With a Variety goody-bag, Variety cup-cake and big red Variety balloons in hand – the phenomenal memories of the day will linger long.