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Sharpie® Retractable Teams Up With Seattle Seahawk Grant Wistrom To Bring Nationwide "Autographs For Education" Program To Seattle

Sep 21, 2004

SEATTLE  -  Sharpie, the popular brand of permanent markers widely known as the autograph pen of choice for celebrities, professional athletes and their fans and among the leading brands from Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE: NWL) is partnering with Seattle Seahawk defensive end Grant Wistrom for the Sharpie Retractable "Autographs for Education" program.  Seattle is the second stop for the program that supports the community-based education, helping encourage quality learning experiences for kids.

To support the launch of Sharpie Retractable markers, Wistrom is bringing the program to Seattle by delivering school supplies and raising funds for the Ballard Boys & Girls Club.  Wistrom, along with other professional athletes, is asking for the autographs of area teachers, parents, children this year in exchange for Sharpie donating much-needed school supplies and funds.

"As one of the newest members of the Seattle Seahawks, I am excited to lend a hand to Sharpie's Autographs for Education program this year in my new hometown," said Wistrom. "I have witnessed, first hand, the impact this program makes on students in our communities and I am thrilled to continue to be involved in a program that focuses on kids and makes education fun."

The Sharpie Retractable Autographs for Education event at the Ballard Boys & Girls Club is among four local-market events this year that will occur at designated community programs and schools across the United States.  The program, which kicked off in Cleveland in July, will also visit Green Bay and Tampa to benefit select community-based education organizations and schools for a total of up to $30,000 in cash and school supplies. In each city, local professional sports figures and celebrities will seek autographs from teachers, children, and parents to benefit designated community education programs.

"We're look forward to having Grant visit our club to discuss the importance of learning," said Mark Hendricks, director of the Ballard Boys & Girls Club.  "As we build more programs for the kids, we have an ongoing need for funding and the proper supplies to keep our activities moving.  Not only is Sharpie providing the necessary tools, but they are also providing inspiration through great role models, which really hits home with our kids."

"Sharpie is thrilled to team up with high-caliber athletes like Grant Wistrom for this worthwhile education program," said Rory Leyden, president of Sanford, makers of Sharpie.  "This program has been an influential way to support to community education initiatives like the Boys & Girls Clubs here in Seattle, as well as around the country."

Sharpie Retractable markers are available in 8-colors: black, red, blue, green, orange, berry, lime and turquoise.  The suggested retail price for 2-, 3-, 4-, and 8-packs are $4.89, $7.33, $9.78, and $19.56, respectively.  Available at office supply stores and other retailers nationwide, Sharpie Retractable joins significant innovations in 2004 that target a wide range of enthusiasts from the hobbyist to the do-it-yourselfer.

About Sanford®, Makers of Sharpie®

Sharpie is the popular brand of permanent markers celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Sanford, maker of Sharpie permanent markers, is a division of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NYSE: NWL), a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and marketing of writing instruments, art products and office organization, including such well known brands as Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, Parker®, Waterman®, EXPO®, Foohy®, uni-ball®, and Rolodex®, among others. Sanford makes more than 6,000 products, ranging from markers, pens and pencils to professional art products, fine writing instruments and office organization products. Visit or for more information.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of King County

The Boys & Girls Clubs of King County exists to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. With 12 full-service Clubs and 27 before- and after-school program sites, the organization is one of the largest of its kind in the nation, serving more than 19,000 annual members. Program areas offered to youth include character & leadership development, education & career development, health & life skills, the arts, computer training and sports/fitness/recreation. For more information, visit

For more information contact Susan Wassel at 630-481-2018, or email