Sunkist Growers Announces Grammy® Winner Billy Dean as Official Take a Stand Spokesperson
Nashville Country Star to Front 2006 Sunkist Cause-Marketing Program.
November 08, 2005
ATLANTA, Ga. (November 8, 2005) – Sunkist Growers got center-stage attention at Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Fresh Summit International Convention with billboard-making news that country singer Billy Dean has signed on to be the official spokesperson of the Sunkist Take a Stand program. Sharing a passion to empower kids to give back to their communities, Sunkist and Dean will together step up the reach and impact of the nationally recognized lemonade stand program beginning in Spring 2006.
To kick-off the partnership, Billy Dean appeared at the Sunkist booth at PMA on November 8 to sign copies of his first major label Christmas album, The Christ (A Song for Joseph). The album features many holiday classics including “Silent Night” as a duet by Dean and the legendary Dolly Parton.
An overnight sensation after his victory on Star Search, Billy Dean is no stranger to the spotlight, having won the industry's top accolades including the Academy of Country Music's Songwriter of the Year Award (1992), Country Music Television Rising Star Award (1993) and a Grammy (1996). His most important treasure, however, is his son and daughter who motivate him daily and are the inspiration behind his recent hit "Let Them Be Little." The song encourages parents to slow down, seek balance and encourage their kids to stay young and innocent for as long as possible. Through the Sunkist Take a Stand program, Dean hopes to further encourage families to focus on what's important to the heart, like helping others in need.
Now going on its third year, the Sunkist Take a Stand program provides Sunkist signature lemonade stands to kids ages 7-12 who pledge online to raise money for their personal charities. This past summer, over 2,000 kids from across the country answered the call to action within the program’s first 36 hours and raised an estimated $400,000 for others in need – demonstrating a strong emotional connection to Sunkist and the opportunity to make a difference.
“It’s a privilege to support a program that puts faith and resources into the hands of children so they can act with their hearts,” said Billy Dean. “I am looking forward to working with Sunkist on integrating my music and love for children into this worthwhile cause.”
Media and retailers also recognize and support the program’s growing influence. Extensive coverage in 2005 garnered more than 73 million consumer impressions, more than ten-fold the program’s exposure in 2004. In addition, top retail accounts are joining Sunkist, offering their high-traffic storefronts and supplies to help kids meet their fundraising goals.
“Billy Dean adds a new dimension to the Take a Stand program,” said Robert Verloop, vice president of marketing, Sunkist Growers. “We look forward to leveraging his talents to reach new audiences, add value to our retail partnerships and strengthen our national impact.”
Plans for launching the third season of Take a Stand are underway with more details about Billy Dean’s role scheduled to be announced in early 2006. Monitor www.sunkist.com for more information.
Though the program typically is dormant during the fall, Sunkist recently reactivated Take a Stand for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, offering free Sunkist lemonade stands to the first 2,000 children who pledged to raise money for victims. Being responsive to community needs, the Sunkist family of employees, growers and packers also pledged to match all lemonade stand donations up to $50,000. Keeping the program flexible enough to respond to emergency situations will be a top priority for 2006.
One of the world's oldest and largest citrus marketing cooperatives, Sunkist Growers is owned by more than 6,000 citrus growers in California and Arizona. Approximately 2,000 of those growers produce lemons, providing the delicious core ingredient for any lemonade recipe. For more information about Sunkist and the Take a