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Variety Club Barker

Variety Club Barker Club Button Museum
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Variety Club Barker button back Club Button Museum
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Illustration of a pink faced man with a mustache and a wide open mouth in a top hat in slight profile with black text on the upper left side of the button on a white background.

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The Variety Club came about in 1927 and is a children’s charity that still continues today to support disadvantaged children with chapters worldwide. It was formed by people in show business as a social club but its identity began to change when a woman dropped her child off in front of a theater on Christmas Eve in 1928 saying she could not care for it. The Variety Club took the child under their wing and subsequently this led to the mission of the club being to help children as it does today.     

With the club’s origins stemming from show business, it has used some occupational terms to describe those in the club. One of those terms is “barker”.  This was the occupation of a man in show business who would presumably “bark” to gather customers at a fairground to come to shows at a carnival or circus. The members in the club are called barkers and Chief Barker is the title given to the chairman of the board. 

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