Former NBA Player to be Guest Speaker at Annual Variety – the Children’s Charity Fundraiser

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Megan Grandgeorge, Director of Marketing and PR for Variety - the Children's Charity, stopped by the Channel 13 studio on Saturday to talk about the organization's "Fire and Ice" fundraiser event.

Variety - the Children's Charity focuses on improving the lives of underprivileged, at-risk, and special needs children throughout the state of Iowa. The group donates money to many charities in Iowa through its grant program, and leads initiatives like Bikes for Kids, providing specialized bikes to children with disabilities and traditional bikes to those who have never owned their own bicycle.

Variety- the Children`s Charity is hosting its 32nd annual Black Tie gala "Fire and Ice" on January 13, 2017, featuring guest speaker Jay Williams. Williams is a former NBA player, ESPN analyst, and author.

After just one season with the Chicago Bulls, Williams' career was destroyed when he suffered a motorcycle accident that left him unable to walk.

In his book "Life Is Not an Accident," Williams shares his story -- both heartbreaking and uplifting -- of being a young man trying to wrest control of his life from his over-involved parents, from the pleasures and perils of fame and money, and from the near-fatal mistake that threatened to define him.

Williams will recount, with a rare honesty, his hard-fought path to college basketball stardom and the painful lessons he has learned while reconstructing his life after his accident.

In addition to being an author, Williams is the CEO and National Director of Special Events for Rising Stars Youth Foundation based in Long Island, using basketball as the vehicle to promote education and provide academic and financial assistance to students within the program.

Variety bow ties (in black and red) are also available for purchase. Bow Ties can be picked up at the Variety office prior to the event or at check-in on the evening of the event.

The event will take place at the Ron Pearson Center at 5820 Westown Parkway from 6:30 - 11 p.m. on Friday, January 13th.

In need of a tux for the evening? Skeffington's Formalwear is offering a $60 discount when you mention "Variety Black Tie."

For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, visit the Variety - the Children's Charity website:

www.varietyiowa.com/calendar/events