Betty Thompson (1934-1994) was a Canadian television presenter who spent most of her career at CKCO-TV in Kitchener, Ontario. She was seen throughout Canada as host of CTV's version of Romper Room, a children's programme produced at CKCO's studios.
She was born in Walkerton, Ontario, raised in Peterborough, Ontario and studied broadcasting at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. She was married twice and had three daughters, Susan, Patricia and Judith.
The annual Betty Thompson Golf Classic began in 1992 as a financial support for breast cancer education and research. She would die from this disease in 1994, four years after diagnosis. During her lifetime, Thompson would contribute to many charitable and community causes, particularly in Kitchener and its region. The causes included Oktoberfest and Big Sisters.
During the four years she suffered from cancer, she openly discussed her disease, and was an advocate for it's treatment. The Betty Thompson Youth Centre, which opened in 1996 and has been run by Lutherwood since late 2000, is named after her.
Betty began her career at CKCO in 1956, following graduation from Ryerson. Initially she was hired to write commercials which were performed live. After leaving the station for a teaching career, she returned in 1971. In 1972-1975 she became the first host of national edition of Romper Room as "Miss Betty" airing on the CTV Television Network, she returned in 1992 for a 20th anniversary special. She also hosted other shows such as Ladies First, The Flower Spot, Be My Guest, Tempo Ontario, Betty and Friends, numerous magazine shows, parades, and appeared at the Canadian National Exhibition. In 1992 she became the station's community relations coordinator.
Awards and recognition
- 1990: Kitchener Mayor's Dinner Honouree
- --: Rotary Club of Kitchener Paul Harris Fellow
- 1991: Kitchener-Waterloo Citizen of the Year by the twin-cities' Junior Chamber of Commerce
- 1992: Kitchener-Waterloo Cancer Society's fund raising campaign honorary chair
- 1995: Waterloo Region Hall of Fame Inductee
- 2007: Waterloo 150 Project - "Profiles of the Past, Present and Future: Waterloo at 150"
- Mosgrave, Jane (2000-10-16). "Zonta working for women". Cambridge Reporter. p. A3.
- "Broadcaster, volunteer, Betty Thompson dies". Kitchener-Waterloo Record. 1994-04-11. p. B1.
- Latif, Anam (2015-04-12). "Local charity celebrating 25 years: Founded by the late Betty Thompson, Best Friends continues to fundraise for various causes". Waterloo Region Record. p. B3.
- Malleck, Bonnie (1991-09-11). "Thompson's fight with breast cancer adds poignancy to CKCO program". Kitchener-Waterloo Record. p. F2.
- Ford, Barbara (1992-08-21). "There's no better time than fall to get fit". The Windsor Star. p. C11.
- "$4,000 goes to youth centre". The Record. 1995-02-21. p. B1.
- Wood, Dianne (1995-04-22). "Homeless youth, runaways to get downtown shelter". The Record. p. B2.
- Wood, Dianne (1996-03-29). "Downtown youth centre officially opens its doors". The Record. p. B2.
- Goodwin, Carol (2001-12-15). "Celebration with a sparkle; Betty Thompson Youth Centre marks 1st anniversary of reopening". The Record. p. B4.
- "Our History". Lutherwood. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
- Flanagan, Ryan (2012-05-17). "100 years, 100 people: Arts and media". Kitchener Post. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
- Shaw, Ted (1992-03-18). "Magic mirror on learning : Romper Room marks 20 years of "do bees' and "don't bees'". Kitchener-Waterloo Record. p. C12.
- Riches, Hester (1992-03-18). "Children's programming takes a creative turn". The Vancouver Sun. p. C7.
- Shaw, Ted (1987-04-28). "Of swansongs, round robins and war toys". Windsor Star. p. D7.
- Malleck, Bonnie (1994-04-13). "CBC interviews focus on family, fertility: Loss and grieving explored with compassion". Kitchener-Waterloo Record. p. E2.
- "This week's specials". Toronto Star. 1979-06-23. p. 20.
125th Anniversary Parade - Bill Inkol and Betty Thompson host the city of Kitchener's 125th anniversary parade.
- "Today's events at CNE". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 1982-08-25. p. 5.
- Hoffman, Susan (2000-07-08). "Youth, women benefited from Thompson's vision". Kitchener-Waterloo Record. p. A18.
- Denney, Frances L. (1991-03-12). "Mayor's Dinner aids worthy causes". Kitchener-Waterloo Record. p. D2.
- Crone, Greg (1991-12-20). "Broadcaster to receive title, Citizen of Year". Kitchener-Waterloo Record. p. B1.
- Terol, Marg (1992-01-24). "Friends and fans say thanks to Citizen of Year". Kitchener-Waterloo Record. p. B1.
- "Region Hall of Fame - Inductees - S to V". Waterloo Region Museum. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
- "Waterloo 150 Project - Betty Thompson" (PDF). Waterloo Public Library. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
- Betty Thompson-Bauman
- Region of Waterloo: Betty Thompson profile (accessed 20 June 2006)
- CTV Southwestern Ontario: Community Champions (accessed 20 June 2006)
- Betty Thompson Golf Classic - Zonta Club of Kitchener Waterloo (accessed 15 January 2015)
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