13-Year-Old Las Vegas Resident to Receive Adaptive Bike at CinemaCon
Children’s charity, entertainment industry partner to help kids who are disabled and disadvantaged
Variety the Children’s Charity of the United States will present Connor Lightfoot with his very own specially-adaptive bike at the All-Industry Breakfast at CinemaCon, the largest and most important gathering of movie theatre owners from around the world. Connor is the latest recipient of Variety’s nationwide mobility program, which provides much-needed funding for durable medical equipment like adaptive bikes, wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers for children with disabilities throughout the United States. Typically, mobility equipment can cost a family $2,500 – $3,500, with some specialty equipment costing upwards of $10,000 – $15,000.
To raise funds for its mobility program and other initiatives, Variety designs collectible Gold Heart pins in partnership with the major movie studios and sells them at about 900 movie theatres across the country, with money going back to help local children in the community where the funds were raised. The Variety Gold Heart Pin campaign raises about $1.5 million in the U.S. annually to provide assistance to children like Connor when family income, insurance, and the government cannot.
“The support of the entertainment industry and everyone who purchases a Gold Heart pin is so appreciated because they are instrumental in allowing us to provide life-changing help to children in need,” says Erica Lopez, National Manager of Variety the Children’s Charity of the United States.
With his new bike, Connor, who uses a wheelchair and depends on the assistance of adults for mobility as well as all personal care needs, will have the ability to become more physically active, confident, independent, and included among activities with his family and friends.
“Connor enjoys interacting with others while riding an adaptive bike during physical therapy and P.E.,” says his physical therapist, Andrea Spratt. “With his very own bike, Connor can enjoy this activity with his family and friends any time, and he will experience physical exercise to maintain good health and strength.”
Variety invites the media to join in presenting Connor with his new adaptive bike. Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn more about Variety’s work and the ways in which the major motion picture studios and theatres support the children in their communities.