Back in Time: Show put spotlight on polio campaign

“Stars That Shine,” a giant variety show held at the former Mont Pleasant High School auditorium on
PHOTOGRAPHER:

William L. Mayotte, Ellen Stapleton and Albert DeSantis wanted to see boys and girls everywhere on their feet.

That meant finding a cure for infantile paralysis — polio.

All three Capital Region residents were members of the 1946 March of Dimes Committee. They were promoting “Stars That Shine,” a giant variety show that was held at the former Mont Pleasant High School auditorium on Monday, Feb. 11, 1946.

The show was a big deal for entertainers, merchants and young children who needed leg braces and wheelchairs. The March of Dimes wanted parents to know that any child was a potential victim of the disease. “Whose Child is Next?” read a headline on full-page advertisements purchased in the Schenectady Gazette.

Twelve acts were on the program, including singers Helen Lynn, Gloria Eve and the Harmony Four; comedians Hank Von Stetina and the Jolly Three; jitterbug dancers Joseph Zasada and Mary Farina; and Larry Audette and his 15-piece orchestra. Bill Carpenter would dress up as master of ceremonies. Tickets were 75 cents each.

Categories: Life and Arts

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