Randy Kohrs – hometown hero

Randy Kohrs is heading home next weekend, but not for a vacation with his family. He’s heading to Des Moines, IA to lead the band for the annual telethon put on by Variety, the Children’s Charity, March 6 and 7.

The telethon has aired for 35 years, raising more than $70 million for charities throughout Iowa and adjoining regions. It attracts volunteers from all over the world, stars of stage, screen and sporting fields, plus the top Nashville musicians Randy solicits each year.

The 24 hour live television event is one to which Kohrs returns each year, and has since 1993 since when his nephew was born prematurely and with some severe complications.

“His lungs weren’t fully developed and a very experimental procedure, at that time, was used to keep him alive.  I learned so much about what it took to even be able to conduct the research to develop these ideas, the cost of it all, that I wanted to help in whatever way I could.

The telethon plays such a huge role in helping fund the children’s hospitals in Iowa, so I walked into Stan Reynold’s (President of Variety) office and offered to do anything they needed, whether it was answer phones, sweep the floors, anything.  They needed help in the music department, so it worked out perfectly!

With such a random group of people like we have every year, you never know what you’re going to see or be involved in that will be broadcast all over the country. Especially around three or four in the morning, when you’re still excited to be there but your body may be wearing down.

A few years ago, I ended up in a Blues Brothers skit, complete with hat, tie, and sunglasses, alongside soap actors Emma Sams and Jason Cook and (wrestler) “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan!  We’re all in it for the same reason and look forward to it every year.”

The telethon is broadcast throughout Iowa, reaching many sectors of Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota which border Iowa. More details can be found online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.