Variety the Children’s Charity presents family with modified van

CREVE COEUR, MO (KTVI) - For 80 years, Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis has made dreams come true. The organization is well-known for the work it does for kids with physical and intellectual disabilities. The charity put one Washington, Missouri teen back in the driver’s seat of her life.

The Conleys use a modified van to transport their daughter, Kaci, and her motorized wheelchair to and from important appointments and events. Kaci loves theatre and appears regularly in Variety’s children's theatre and fashion shows. Last year, the family couldn't make all of the rehearsals due to the extensive mileage on their aging van.

Kaci takes online classes through the University of Missouri, but she still has to travel to Columbia for her exams.

On Friday, Variety invited the Conleys to their offices in Creve Coeur, where they were presented with a refurbished van.

“It’s going to be really great for her to go to school without having to think about how to get there, how to get picked up and such,” said Jim Conley, Kaci’s dad. “So it will be fantastic.”

Generous donors allow Variety to make life better for these kids. More than 1,800 families are able to get much-needed medical equipment through the program.

“We were on a list, a wait list for assistance. For the modifications of a van. And then they contacted us and said they wanted to do the whole thing for us,” said Laura Conley, Kaci’s mom.

Kaci, who has been a Variety kid for more than 10 years, will continue to showcase her talents with the children’s theatre group in its upcoming production of Beauty and Beast.

“They mean the world to me, cause they help me with stuff like this. And they provide me with opportunities and I love them,” Kaci said.