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Sharpie® Metallic Teams Up With Steelers' Hines Ward To Bring Nationwide "Autographs For Education" Program To Pittsburgh

Nov 25, 2003

Sharpie®, the popular brand of permanent markers featured last year in a famous touchdown celebration, is making its mark on education.  Now, a national program that combines the popular markers with NFL players, kids and a fleet of silver all-terrain vehicles is scoring a touchdown in the Pittsburgh area, as the "Sharpie Metallic AUTOgraphs for Education" program visits a school in Pittsburgh. Today at Martin Luther King Elementary School, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward is bringing the "AUTOgraphs for Education" program to Pittsburgh youth. The program, which kicked off earlier this summer in Atlanta with 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens, enlists the help of sports figures to deliver school supplies and raise funds for schools and community education groups across the country. 

During a special school assembly, Ward will arrive with a custom-designed Sharpie Metallic Silver Hummer H2 vehicle, deliver school supplies and collect student's signatures on an oversized 8-by-10 foot AUTOgraph wall.  Sharpie will donate funds to Martin Luther King Elementary School in exchange for the autographs collected in Pittsburgh, with a cash donation of $3,000 and a matching gift in school and art supplies. The national program concludes here, after stops in Atlanta, St. Louis, Denver and San Francisco, for a total donation of $30,000 in cash and school supplies. 

"Sharpie is dedicated to making a difference for young students with the Sharpie Metallic AUTOgraphs for Education program," said Ward.  "I'm happy to have the opportunity to visit the school and get kids excited about learning here in Pittsburgh."

"Our school is thrilled to be participating in this great program. The Pittsburgh Public Schools, and MLK Elementary in particular, continue to face funding challenges," said Martin Luther King Elementary School Principal Jason Martin.  "Brands like Sharpie are helping to bring education to the forefront by generously giving money and school supplies, and athletes like Hines really inspire kids to get involved at school and make the best of their education."

The Sharpie Metallic AUTOgraphs for Education event at Martin Luther King Elementary School is the fifth and final local-market that took place at schools and community centers across the United States. Sharpie is now planning the 2004 tour. 

"Sharpie is thrilled to team up with Hines Ward and Martin Luther King Elementary for this worthwhile education program," said Greg Stoner, vice president and general manager for Sharpie.  "Teaming up with an athlete of Hines' caliber helps get kids excited about education, and this program allows Sharpie to help support local schools in great communities like Pittsburgh."

In addition to helping children in local communities, Sharpie Metallic is also featuring the all-terrain vehicles as part of the "Sharpie H24U Hummer H2 Giveaway Sweepstakes," in which individuals can enter online or via mail to win a silver Hummer H2 of their own.  Four Sharpie Metallic Silver H2s will travel the country this summer and fall, visiting local fairs and festivals in more than 150 cities nationwide, offering the public a chance to enter the sweepstakes and interactive displays from Sharpie. For official rules or to enter the sweepstakes, visit http://www.sanfordcorp.com/sanford/consumer/h2promo/jhtml/entry_options.jhtml.   

Sharpie Metallic is the latest breakthrough product and first metallic marker from Sharpie, the nearly 40-year-old permanent marker brand.  Perfect for marking on dark surfaces, Sharpie Metallic offers a silver metallic ink and the permanence and dependability of the world's most popular family of permanent markers. 

About Sanford® 

Sanford, maker of Sharpie permanent markers since 1964, is a division of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NYSE: NWL). The Company is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and marketing of writing instruments, including such well known brands as Paper Mate®, Colorific®, Sharpie®, Parker®, Waterman®, EXPO® and uni-ball®, among others. Sanford makes more than 6,000 products ranging from markers, pens and pencils to professional art products and fine writing instruments. Headquartered in Bellwood, Ill., the Company has approximately 10,000 employees worldwide.

For more information on Sanford and its family of brands, please visit www.sanfordcorp.com or call 800.323.0749.

For more information contact Susan Wassel at 630-481-2018, or email media.relations@sanfordcorp.com