Tim Hortons partners with Retro Bill through 2011-12 to reinforce their Hospitality and Customer Satisfaction at restaurants throughout Canada and the United States!

Tim Hortons Inc. is Canada's largest food service restaurant chain with over 3,000 restaurants in Canada and 500 stores in the northern United States. Founded in 1964 in Hamilton, Ontario, by Canadian hockey player Tim Horton with business partner Jim Charade and investor Ron Joyce, it is loved for its always fresh coffee, doughnuts, soups and sandwiches.

Tim Hortons is utilizing Retro Bill's corporate and motivational skills to encourage the company's employees ("Team Members") to  dedicate themselves to providing outstanding customer satisfaction and exemplary service to every guest. This venture includes numerous motivational Keynote Speeches at Tim Hortons Team Member Hospitality Rallies presented to the company's employees throughout Canada in 2010 and 2011. The Tim Hortons / Retro Bill partnership is scheduled to continue in 2012 with Retro Bill providing Motivational Keynote Speeches at Team Member Rallies in the United States and Canada.

Retro Bill at the grand opening of the Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop / Cold Stone Creamery in Norton Shores, MI.

Beginning in August 2011, Tim Hortons Restaurants in the United States began utilizing Retro Bill as a motivational hospitality speaker for Team Member orientation and training days prior to grand openings of new Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop / Cold Stone Creamery locations. Plans are to continue to apply Retro Bill's skills in this capacity as new Tim Hortons Restaurants open in the United States.

Retro Bill's work with Tim Hortons continues his diverse hospitality and customer service motivational speaking for restaurant, lodging and airline companies.

For more information about Tim Hortons, visit their website at timhortons.com


Retro Bill is in high demand as a law enforcement & educational conference motivational speaker and instructor!

Law enforcement and educational training conferences are utilizing Retro Bill's unique presentation skills to assist police officers and school teachers in their ability to connect with and inspire the youth of North America.

Retro Bill provides visual techniques, humor and a high energy performance which motivates law enforcement officers and school teachers to go back to their communities inspired, confident and armed with new techniques that assist them in motivating children of all ages to make healthy, positive life choices.


Employees in the restaurant, lodging & airline industries receive inspiration and motivation from Retro Bill!

Restaurant, lodging & airline companies have tapped into a new, unique and effective resourceRETRO BILL! Retro Bill's messages of providing exceptional customer service have proven to be inspirational to employees and employers alike. The beneficiaries are the restaurant, lodging & airline industries' customers (or Guests)!

Utilizing a variety of visual props, humor and high energy, Retro Bill delivers an unforgettable message to adults about "staying on the positive channel," leaving one's "baggage" at home, and remembering (paraphrasing his grandmother's Hula-Hoop theory) that "putting positive out brings positive returns!"


Retro Bill and the
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Announce New Partnership!

In January 2010, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Deputies teaching the S.T.A.R. (Success Through Awareness & Resistance) program began utilizing the newly released "Retro Bill Safety & Self-Esteem Tips" DVD during classroom visitations. Retro Bill donated copies of his new DVD to every LASD Deputy currently teaching the STAR program. Deputies will incorporate the video into their various classroom lessons as part of this new partnership.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department STAR Unit will pursue various ways to bring Retro Bill's messages of good character, positive self-esteem, being drug free and staying safe to elementary schools throughout Los Angeles County. This will be done by deputies working with schools and PTA/PTOs to schedule Retro Bill assemblies at elementary schools being served by the LASD STAR Unit. Currently, the LASD STAR Unit serves 240 schools in 38 school districts, impacting 52,000 students on a monthly basis. The STAR Unit provides drug, bullying and violence prevention education to students, parents and community members in LA County.

The partnership between the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Retro Bill will feature a LASD STAR Unit/Retro Bill web component on the LASD website. The web component of the partnership will provide a safe destination for children to visit on the internet. Content will include safety tips, advice from Retro Bill and STAR Deputies, and a Retro Bill video arcade.

RETRO BILL recently completed a school appearance tour in Sudbury and Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada sponsored by the Rainbow District School Board. A family show in Sudbury was also held with a full capacity attendance! Plans are currently being made to have another Retro Bill Canadian Tour for Spring 2012.

In May 2011, Retro Bill completed a 10-day Ontario, Canada Tour that included shows in London, Timmins, Sudbury, Caledon and Toronto. A Community Show at Science North's Vale Cavern was attended by a filled-to-capacity audience! The May 2011 Tour concluded with a Keynote Speech at the "DARE Fore Kids Golf Fundraiser & Auction" which celebrated the 10th year of DARE in Caledon, Ontario.

Popular demand brought Retro Bill back to Ontario in the fall of 2010. His tour sponsored by DARE Timmins, the Ontario Provincial Police, Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa and Air Creebec brought him to students at schools in Timmins, Cochrane, New Liskeard, Moose Factory and Moosonee. The tour concluded with a highly-attended family show held in the auditorium at Timmins High School.

Retro Bill triumphantly toured Timmins, Ontario, Canada May - June 2010. His appearances were sponsored by the Timmins Police Service and Timmins DARE. As part of his appearances in Timmins, Retro Bill was the Closing Ceremony Keynote Speaker at the Teen Leadership Camp held at Camp Bickell. He was also the Keynote Speaker at a Timmins Police Service DARE Graduation and presented a special Family Show at the Timmins Public Library!

In April 2009, Retro Bill was proud to be the opening ceremony Keynote Speaker and a classroom instructor at the 1st Annual DARE Canada National Training Conference held in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Retro Bill spoke to Ontario government officials and law enforcement officers from the provinces.

Retro Bill successfully completed a live appearance tour of Caledon, Canada in October 2009. The tour was sponsored by DARE Caledon and the OPP (Ontario, Canada Provincial Police). Over 6,000 Canadian Elementary, Middle and High School students attended Retro Bill's presentations in Caledon and throughout the Grand Valley!

RETRO BILL is an official Celebrity Spokesperson for the 9-1-1ELERTS application. 9-1-1 Elerts works on most mobile phones through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon wireless networks with a data plan or text plan. Their service connects the mobile phone user to 9-1-1 services, while simultaneously notifying up to ten friends and family with actionable safety alerts via email, text and voice message to the member’s Personal Protection Network (PPN) with a full profile and the location of the user who initiated the 9-1-1ELERT.

9-1-1ELERTS is dedicated to helping people protect themselves, their families and their property. Regarding the service, RETRO BILL says "As a dedicated children's safety and positive self-esteem advocate I am always looking for new and effective ways to keep kids safe. I highly recommend that parents make sure that their child's cell phone have the 9-1-1 Elerts App. 9-1-1 Elerts provides parents and children with peace of mind for just pennies a day. Protecting a child is priceless!"

When registering for the 9-1-1 Elerts service mention "RETRO BILL" to receive a discount on the yearly service fee. For more information visit the 9-1-1 Elerts we

Form Partnership to Keep Kids Safe!

BRIGHT HOUSE NETWORKS and RETRO BILL have launched a multi-faceted nationwide safety initiative --Keeping Kids Safe-- that will utilize RETRO BILL via broadcast, internet, and live appearances to bring informative and entertaining safety tips to families in all of the Bright House Networks affiliated markets.

2011 marks the third year that Retro Bill has been making personal appearances as part of the Keeping Kids Safe partnership with Bright House Networks. Retro Bill live appearances have included Orlando, FL, Tampa/St. Petersberg, FL, Daytona, FL, Indianapolis, IN, Detroit, MI and Bakersfield, CA. Retro Bill is scheduled to make more Keeping Kids Safe Project appearances throughout 2011-2012.

Bright House Networks is a company dedicated to perfecting their customers' home entertainment experience. Bright House Networks provides Digital Phone, high-speed data (HSD), Video-on-Demand (VOD), Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) and Digital Video Recorders (DVR). The company’s Florida operations currently deliver nearly 300 channels to customers and were among the first in the country to offer High Definition Television signals (HDTV).

Bright House Networks are proud supporters and partners in children’s safety initiatives, enhanced educational programs and community-wide efforts to invest in the futures of children.

Bright House Networks owns and operates the news operations Central Florida News 13, News 13 Weather NOW, Central Florida on Demand, and cfnews13.com serving the Orlando area and Bay News 9, Bay News 9 En Español, Travel Weather Now, Tampa Bay on Demand and Baynews9.com serving the Tampa area.

Bright House Networks also serves over 2.2 million subscribers in cable television systems located in and around Tampa Bay, Central Florida, Indianapolis, Birmingham, Bakersfield and Detroit along with several smaller systems in Alabama and the panhandle of Florida. Bright House Networks is a privately held company headquartered in Syracuse, New York. Advance/Newhouse, Bright House Network's parent company, holds interests in Condé Nast magazines, PARADE magazine, daily newspapers serving 26 cities, and a significant interest in Discovery Communications, Inc.

For more information about Bright House Networks, visit their website at www.mybrighthouse.com


joined his friend
and celebrities
Larry King,
Fran Drescher,
Vidal Sassoon,
and John Paul DeJoria
at the
"Magic of Memories Dinner"

 It was an amazing night!  Celebrities and beauty professionals from worldwide Paul Mitchell Salons gathered at the luxurious Island Hotel in Newport Beach, CA for the 6th Annual "Magic of Memories Dinner" benefiting The Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, The Larry King Cardiac Foundation, The Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation, City of Hope, Food 4 Africa, Fran Drescher's Cancer Schmancer Movement and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Larry and Shawn King

John Paul DeJoria

Fran Drescher

Vidal Sassoon

 RETRO BILL is revolutionizing children's entertainment!  He has put fun into safety, self-esteem and character counts education for Kindergarten through 12th graders for the past 12 years! In fact, each year RETRO BILL is seen live by over 1 MILLION American and Canadian school children! 

The United States National Park Service and the Mount Rushmore Memorial Society officially appointed Retro Bill for three years in a row 2007-2009 to be the Host & Kick-off Presenter for America's Independence Day Fireworks Celebration at Mount Rushmore, SD.

In July 2010, Retro Bill was a Keynote Speaker and Motivational Instructor at the International DARE Officers Training Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio! This appearance marked the 12th year that Retro Bill has held the title of being "The Official International DARE Safety Buddy."

Retro Bill is honored to hold the title of the official Host of National Kids Day, an event he began officially hosting on The Ellipse in front of The White House in Washington D.C. in 2003.

September 2009 saw the release of a BRAND NEW Retro Bill DVD!  Fans worldwide have eagerly anticipated the NEW  "RETRO BILL Safety & Self-Esteem Tips" DVD.  The DVD has been proven to be a huge success with children and police officers.

CNN’s LARRY KING and television/radio celebrity LEEZA GIBBONS have called
Retro Bill, "The 21st Century Mr. Rogers!  Even Talk Show Host/Comedian Jay Leno has proclaimed that he is a fan of RETRO BILL!

"The 21st Century Mr. Rogers!"


RETRO BILL visits wounded U.S. troops

Wounded U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan had their spirits lifted when Retro Bill visited Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX. The Official DARE Safety Buddy - Retro Bill, signed photos and thanked troops for their service to our country. Accompanying Retro Bill were representatives of DARE America and  the Bexar County Sheriff's Department.

This visit was one of many frequent visits Retro Bill makes to military hospitals and bases to show his appreciation to America's service men and women.

Retro Bill paying respects to the U.S. Army while
making an appearance in Nashville, TN.

Retro Bill receives approval from members of the
U.S. Army California National Guard Drug Demand Reduction Unit

Retro Bill sits proudly alongside his brother
Sgt. Russ, United States Army.


 Retro Bill gives (and receives) a thumbs up as he
honors a Hero representing veterans of
World War II.

Retro Bill (in hat) stops by while on tour in Wisconsin to donate toys for the Marine Toys For Tots Foundation.

Chicago PoliceCHICAGO, IL - July 2012 saw RETRO BILL lending his support to the Chicago Police Department's D.A.R.E. Program through his donation of 100 copies of the Award-Winning "DARE Safety Tips starring Retro Bill" DVD to Chicago Police D.A.R.E. Officers. RETRO BILL made the the donation of the DVDS personally to the Chicago D.A.R.E. Officers with an informative, supercharged message of appreciation and motivation at Chicago Police Headquarters in downtown Chicago. RETRO BILL warmly commented during his Officer presentation, "No matter where my travels take me, this is still 'Sweet Home Chicago.'"

PEPSI sponsors Retro Bill tour of Green Bay, WI area schools

The Pepsi Refresh Project is a bold program of corporate philanthropy. The 2010-11 initiative sponsored by PepsiCo and Pepsi-Cola of Northeast Wisconsin presented live school  appearances by Retro Bill in June 2010. Retro Bill's positive messages of good character, safety and self-esteem was seen live by thousands of Green Bay, Ashwaubenon and Howard, WI elementary school students.

The Retro Bill Pepsi Refresh Project Green Bay area tour was Co-Sponsored and Hosted by Ashwaubenon Public Safety DARE and the Brown County Sheriff's Office DARE Unit.

For more information about the Pepsi Refresh Project, visit their website at refresheverything.com

Retro Bill joins forces with Orange County Public Schools and Bright House Networks to become the Official Spokesperson for the "Change Starts With Me" Community Initiative throughout Greater Orlando, Florida

This character-based community initiative will drive home the character traits Respect, Caring, Self-discipline, Perseverance, Trustworthiness, Integrity, Positive Attitude, Citizenship, Cooperation and Responsibility. Retro Bill will be featured in televised Public Service Announcements, posters and social media to reinforce these traits in one of the largest school districts in the United States.

For more information on the "Change Starts With Me" Community Initiative, visit http://changestartswithme.org


News 14 Carolina, NORTH CAROLINA

"Retro Bill sends positive message"

The Winchester Sun, KENTUCKY
"Retro Bill shares anti-drug, bullying message
with Clark County students"

The Santa Clara Weekly, CALIFORNIA
"Retro Bill Brings Motivation to
Students in Unique Live Show"

The Republic, INDIANA
"Retro Bill uses big hair, props and humor
to talk about very serious issues"

SeacoastOnline, MAINE
"Retro Bill's style is "old school"
but his message is "new school"


The Lebanon Reporter, INDIANA
"Retro Bill shares life lessons"

"Wake Forest goes Retro"

Evansville Courier & Press, INDIANA
"DARE speaker entertains 1,600 local fifth-graders"

The Gowanda Observer, NEW YORK
"Retro Bill uses 'cool factor' to drive home his message"

Portsmouth Herald, NEW HAMPSHIRE
"Retro Bill helps kids handle bullying issues"

Rapid City Journal, SOUTH DAKOTA
"Retro Bill Entertains and Educates Youths"

Mt. Vernon Register, ILLINOIS
"Retro Bill Encourages DARE Graduates"

Bozeman Daily Chronicle, MONTANA

"Retro Bill Makes Stop In Gardiner"

The Casper Tribune, WYOMING

"Retro Bill Entertains DARE Grads"

The Daily Oakland Press, MICHIGAN
"Retro Bill teaches kids old-time values"

Marco Island Sun Times, FLORIDA
"Retro Bill visits Marco with the D.A.R.E. program"

Saint Petersburg Times, FLORIDA
"Big hair, big lessons"

Sioux City Journal, IOWA
"Retro Bill visits Elk Point, South Dakota"

Simi Valley Acorn
"‘Retro Bill’ uses humor for serious message"

Cincinnati Enquirer, OHIO
"This anti-drug message comes with Silly String"

Northwest Indiana Times, INDIANA
"Retro Bill brings positive message!"


"Retro Bill's message connects with kids"

Retro Bill can be seen on the
Trinity Broadcasting Network
and the Smile of a Child television
network through 2018.

The Trinity Broadcast Network has agreed to air Retro Bill's television program through 2018.

The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) is the largest Christian television network in the world. It has five million viewer households per week in the United States. TBN is carried on over 275 television stations in the U.S. and on thousands of other cable television systems around the world in 75 countries, where its programs are translated into eleven languages. TBN owns 23 full-power television stations and 252 low-power rural stations in the U.S.

Smile of a Child TV is a Christian children's channel that offers programming 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Smile of a Child was created by Trinity Broadcasting Network co-founder Jan Crouch. The goal of the network is to encourage children to develop positive social skills with a heavy concentration on morals and values. It is carried on digital simulcast channels of TBN-owned stations. Internationally, it is available in Europe, Asia, The Philippines, India, and the Middle East.

Click the TVs to view the broadcasting schedule for Retro Bill!

The United States National Park Service and the
Mount Rushmore Memorial Society officially
appointed Retro Bill for 2007, 2008 and 2009
as the Host & Kick-off Presenter for
America's Independence Day Fireworks Celebration
at Mount Rushmore, SD.

Click to view letter
Superintendent of Mount Rushmore


Retro Bill receives accolades from the U.S. Senate

Click here to view letter from Senate Pro Tempore

Retro Bill receives a letter of appreciation from
The United States Department of the Interior

Click here to view letter

The City of Leavenworth, KS proclaims
"Official Retro Bill Week 2010"

Click to view proclamation


Retro Bill is officially declared
an Honorary Hoosier
by the Governor of Indiana

Click to view declaration

Click to view proclamation


Retro Bill is honorably commissioned
a Kentucky Colonel

Click to view certificate of commission

Retro Bill is declared "A Very Special Deputy"
by the Boone County, IN Sheriff's Department

Click to view declaration


  KidsPeace Celebrity Spokesperson
Retro Bill pays a visit to
KidsPeace Headquarters

Retro Bill stopped by the national headquarters of KidsPeace while on tour in Pennsylvania and donated sixty-five copies of his award-winning "DARE Safety Tips" DVD to be watched by 10,000 children in KidsPeace  centers each year across the United States.

KidsPeace President Lorrie Henderson, Ph.D presented Retro Bill with a "Friend of Kids" award for "his outstanding work to give America's kids peace."


Retro Bill makes an appearance in the Caribbean!

The Carribean Island of St. Maarten was  the first "live" appearance for RETRO BILL outside of the United States.  The Award-Winning "DARE Safety Tips starring RETRO BILL" (dvd) is being shown to children in many languages by DARE Officers throughout the World, however this Special Appearance by RETRO BILL at the St. Maarten DARE DAY on December 1, 2007 (at the Belair Community Center) was the first time RETRO BILL's INTERNATIONAL FANS had the chance to see their Hero in person!  The event was a BIG SUCCESS!

       SPECIAL THANKS to St. Maarten DARE, Sgt. Dientje Muller,
Sgt. Geovanni H.M. Sprott and The Westin Resort - St. Maarten



RETRO BILL is celebrating his 17th year as the Official International DARE Safety Buddy in 2015. He will make an appearance as an Instructor & Motivational Speaker at the International DARE Officers Training Conference at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, Louisiana in August 2015.

DARE Officers can pre-register for RETRO BILL's class on-line at DARE.org. RETRO BILL's Motivational Presentations have proven year after year to be a HUGE HIT at each International DARE Training Conference! DARE Officers and Educators agree that "RETRO BILL keeps it fresh and real!" Making attendance at a RETRO BILL Motivational Presentation a "must attend" class at every International DARE Officers Training Conference!



is an Advisory Board Member for the

The network is dedicated to providing
"wholesome, informative and entertaining content
 for families that home school their children."
Retro Bill is featured on the network as an
"on-air" children's safety & self-esteem expert.

RETRO BILL is the Official Host & Emcee of the
FIRST LEGO League Robotics Championship in California

2014 marked the 11th year in a row for  Retro Bill to hold this honor. "My role as Host and Emcee of the FIRST LEGO League Robotics Championship is an absolute honor. It is a powerful, fun and effective way for me to help inspire the next generation of techies! I believe technological, environmental and medical breakthroughs will be created by the young science-minded students who participate in this event!"

Retro Bill will return as Host and Emcee of the 2014 FIRST LEGO League Robotics Championship in California! Click here to visit the FIRST LEGO LEAGUE website!

Event Sponsors:

Leeza Gibbons calls RETRO BILL

"Kids are the most discriminating audience on the planet. Having been there or done that, it is impossible for them to accept anything that is not entertaining, fresh and REAL. School children have spoken loudly, and to them, Retro Bill is the real deal! I personally believe that Retro Bill is poised to be the 21st Century's Mr. Rogers."

Click here to read more!



Retro Bill is honored by
Steve Edwards and Leeza Gibbons.

"Thumbs Up!"
A red carpet arrival for Retro Bill!

Leeza Gibbons, Retro Bill and Steve Edwards
at the Best of Los Angeles event.

The Best of Los Angeles event presented by Los Angeles Magazine was held at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, CA.  The event showcased the "Best of LA" with vendors from Los Angeles sampling their finest!  The event featured a silent auction that raised money for the Alzheimer's Association and Leeza's Place, which is dedicated to research and providing care for families and patients afflicted by Alzheimer's Disease.  One highlight from the event was when Leeza Gibbons and Steve Edwards paid tribute on-stage to Retro Bill.  Gibbons praised Retro Bill for his work on behalf of children worldwide. She told the 2,000 guests in attendance that "Retro Bill is the 21st Century Mr. Rogers," and added that he helps to keep children safe, while boosting their self-esteem through his nationwide school assembly programs and his Award-Winning "DARE Safety Tips Video & DVD."  Guests clamored for a free copy of the "DARE Safety Tips Video starring Retro Bill" as they left the event.  Retro Bill personally donated 2,000 of the videos to attending Guests.


Named Indiana's best daily newspaper
November 30, 2011

Attention grabber with a message
Retro Bill entertains students with anti-bullying message

South Bend Tribune

MISHAWAKA — Retro Bill attracts attention wherever he goes.

Maybe it’s his Elvis Presley-styled hair and attire adorned by red and orange flames, right down to the shoes. Or it could be his unwavering jolt of positive energy that he admits can sometimes be too much for adults.

But his message — a serious one delivered with jokes and impressions — resonates with children and has earned him fame.

Retro Bill encourages students to set goals and stick with them.

That’s what drives the Illinois native and Hollywood, Calif., resident, who now travels the country speaking motivationally about children’s safety, self-esteem and anti-bullying and has been featured on television and radio programs around the world.

Retro Bill, whose real name is Bill Russ, spoke Wednesday to a group of hundreds of seventh and eighth graders at John Young Middle School as part of the Mishawaka DARE Healthy Communities Initiative of St. Joseph County.

Mishawaka Police Lt. and DARE coordinator Tim Williams had been trying to get Retro Bill, the International DARE Safety Buddy, to Mishawaka for the past seven years.

Retro Bill, who also touched briefly on the dangers of smoking and taking pills, spent the majority of his 45-minute speech talking about bullying amongst children and teens — something he knows first hand.

“When most people are hurt, they go to the wrong channel and want to hurt back,” said Retro Bill, who has hosted National Kids Day on The Ellipse in front of the White House. “Don’t let someone hurt your self-esteem and change your (positive) channel.”

Retro Bill talked about the challenges he faced growing up as a victim of constant bullying in his hometown of Aurora, IL. He said he was called everything — too skinny, too tall, ugly, dumb, stupid, loser, terrible in sports.

And it had a lasting, negative effect on his life; so much so he’s made a career educating about it.

“I was a nice kid trying my best to mind my business,” he said. “I wanted to be an Eagle Scout, but I was bullied and threatened and ended up dropping out. I was afraid to tell the grownups. And I don’t want any of you to let anyone keep you from being as great as you can be.”

Retro Bill uses an oversized remote control as a prop as he speaks to John Young Middle School students on self-esteem, anti-bullying and positive lifestyles.

Between the grades of fifth and eighth, Retro Bill took in all the bullying without saying a word, causing him to quit the baseball team as well.

“I held it in,” he said. “I would sit in the bedroom at night, close the door and feel sorry for myself. I thought it would make me weak if I told.”

Retro Bill offered several clever comebacks for students if they are ever being bullied — causing the students to scream in laughter — but, ultimately, recommended telling a grownup or any adult, as he pointed to the teachers, school administrators and police officers in the gymnasium.

He encouraged the students to set goals and stick with them, whether it’s to become a teacher, or a surgeon. School is a short part of your life, he said, adding that the bullying will stop and you’ll have the rest of your life to live.

“Never give up or quit,” he said. “Keep making your dreams come true. And your will get to do what you love for the rest of your life.”

“Follow your dreams, follow your passion.”

And be positive, he said, even when people are bullying you and you want to reciprocate with negativity of your own. Instead, follow a negative comment with a positive one, Retro Bill said.

He held up a remote control and told the students to turn it to a positive channel. When people want to bring negativity, hit the mute button on them, he said.

“Stay positive, own who you are and be true to yourself,” he said. “Be proud of who you are. You don’t look like your neighbor. If you did life would be so boring. It’s the variety, but on the inside all of us are all made of the same stuff inside.”



Retro Bill visits Leavenworth schools

By John Richmeier

May 13, 2010

Retro Bill, right, speaks to fifth-graders Wednesday at West Intermediate School. He has been visiting several Leavenworth schools this week.

Leavenworth, Kan. — Everyone has a remote control inside his brain. And people can use their mute buttons when somebody tries to put them down.

That’s according to Retro Bill, who is visiting Leavenworth schools this week to talk to students about topics such as drug abuse and self esteem.

He spoke Wednesday afternoon at West Intermediate School.

“Stay on that positive channel,” he said as he told fifth-graders about their remote controls.

Retro Bill, whose real name is Bill Russ, appeared Wednesday dressed in his usual flame-covered attire and sporting a large pompadour.

His visits to Leavenworth have become an annual event. He was the subject of a mayor’s proclamation during Tuesday’s Leavenworth City Commission meeting.

Retro Bill’s visit is sponsored by the Leavenworth Police Department and Leavenworth school district, according to Mark Lingenfesler, the Police Department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer.


Elementary students laugh as “Retro Bill” presents serious life lessons in a humorous way at Rancho Pico Elementary school. (Photo: Dan Watson)

Oct. 21, 2009

Students get life lessons
D.A.R.E. safety buddy Retro Bill teaches
youth how to make proper decisions

By Jessica Selva
Signal Staff Writer
High-demand motivational speaker “Retro Bill” sported an Elvis hairdo and a flame-print shirt and sneakers Tuesday as he used props to teach Pico Canyon Elementary School students in Santa Clarita, CA how to live safe and healthy lifestyles.

“You have to stay on the positive channel,” the radio and television personality Bill Russ said as he pulled out a remote control and then an oversized calculator.

He next added his trademark “Oh yeah!” which drew giggles from his child audience.

The speaker, who talks to about a million American students a year, visited about 2,100 students at Pico Canyon and Stevenson Ranch elementary schools Tuesday in honor of “Red Ribbon Week,” a national campaign against drugs, alcohol, tobacco and violence.

Russ is the official Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or D.A.R.E., Safety Buddy and has hosted several national safety campaigns and events, according to his Web site.

The speaker used comical faces, voices and child impressions to touch on the dangers of drug abuse and bullying.

In one demonstration, Russ lugged around a large, red suitcase with white polka dots to demonstrate the baggage students carry when they don’t inform adults about problems. He next compared that to what happens when children do speak up as he pulled up the suitcase’s handle bars and effortlessly rolled it across the auditorium stage.

“The biggest problems still come with a handle on wheels,” he said.

Bill Russ, as “Retro Bill,” uses orange cones to represent choices that make up a life path while he gives a presentation to students at Pico Canyon Elementary School on Tuesday. (Photo: Dan Watson)
He mentioned celebrities such as Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger, who died because of drug addiction, then playfully acted out ways students can say no to drugs or respond to teasing.

“He was very funny,” said third-grader Alex Merrill. “(I learned) to walk away when one person is doing something bad and you’re not supposed to do it.”

Principal Laura Banda said Retro Bill, who has visited the school once before, also helped students understand the importance of telling adults about problems.

“Particularly for the primary (students), sometimes students think they’re tattling,” Banda said. “He gave the difference between a small problem and a big problem and being an informer. That really helps.”

Russ, who has been a full-time motivational speaker for nearly 11 years, later said events from his own youth inspired him to speak out against drug abuse and bullying.

He said a bully tried to drown him as a child, causing him to drop out of his Boy Scouts troop. And when he was a teenager, two of his friends were killed in a head-on collision by another student who was driving under the influence, he said.

Russ said he started speaking to students because he wanted to give them a hip role model to look up to.

“Kids need heroes,” Russ said. “They need to have somebody that’s got cool hair, cool clothes and upbeat energy, but drives home a really wholesome message.”


December 11, 2008

Retro Bill wows 'em at DARE graduation!

Fort Stockton, TX - With a hair style and attire reminiscent of a time before their parents were even born, Retro Bill entertained and inspired the crowd of fifth-graders from Fort Stockton Intermediate School at the Williams Special Events Center. The keynote speaker at the DARE graduation quizzed the students about their dreams and what they wanted to do in life.

"Nurse." Policeman." "Football player."

"Hold your dreams in your heart," Retro Bill said. "Nobody can stop you, except for drugs, gangs, or yourself by giving up."

Retro Bill's purpose was to reinforce the standard message of DARE: for children to stay drug-free, to say no to alcohol and tobacco, and to say yes to their own self-worth. His motivational style, often punctuated with voiced sound effects, was anything but standard. Part motivational speaker, comedian and teacher, Retro Bill had his audience's attention for his message.

"Your DARE lessons, when you use them, will help you keep drugs and violence away," he said.

He cautioned the fifth-graders to keep their distance from drugs and those who use them, but he also urged them forward into their futures, to choose the correct path to chase and capture their dreams.

"Drugs are a dead end," Retro Bill said. "Nothing good comes from that. You tell 'em, 'I'm going to stay in school and stay off drugs.' ... If someone tries to get you to take drugs, you tell 'em, 'I don't go there.'"

In his first trip to Fort Stockton, Retro Bill also helped hand out graduation certificates to the students in ten DARE classes. Students participate in the DARE classes for about three months, according to Maribel Perkins, the Fort Stockton Police Department DARE officer. They must go through lessons in a workbook and produce an essay prior to graduation from the program. Retro Bill, Perkins and several other law enforcement officials congratulated each of the graduates when they reached the stage.

Giving a final lesson to the graduates, Retro Bill brought out one of the several props he used during his performance: a Hula Hoop, to illustrate a lesson he learned from his grandmother.

"Your effort will help you keep on going in life," he said as he moved his hand around the inside of the Hula Hoop. "Treat others the way you want to be treated yourself... remember... What goes around comes around."


The source for the Seacoast

Serving Southern Maine including Kennebunkport & York County, ME.

March 2007

Retro Bill brings more than laughs

YORK, ME -- When Retro Bill entered Village Elementary School Thursday afternoon, one might have thought Elvis had entered the building -- and not just because of his four-inch pompadour and slick style... but because of the cheers from the students and the excitement from the building.

"The hair is real," Retro Bill said, jiggling his head from side to side. "It's not a wig, not a piece."

The students reacted as if a superstar was visiting their school with gleaming smiles, waves and, of course, Retro Bill's "signature thumbs up."

Retro Bill, the official D.A.R.E. Safety Buddy, caught the attention of the students with goofy antics that included funny faces, loud noises, silly string and rubber chickens.

Retro Bill taught lessons of drug awareness and anti-bullying. The program was made possible by efforts of York's D.A.R.E coordinator; York Police Officer Scott Cogger and the school's parent group.

But the hair (which requires a full hour of careful hair-spraying, Retro said) and the sound effects and props that had students rolling on the gymnasium floor with laughter were just props; Retro Bill uses his humorous personality to grab the kids' attention and drive home his message of how to deal with strangers, bullying and conflict resolution.

His message was simple: treat yourself and others with respect and stay away from things that will keep you from your dreams.

"The kids know I am for real," said Retro Bill, whose real name is Bill Russ. "If you don't have real empathy and passion, they will see right through you. But my message is real and serious." Russ is on the road 300 days a year performing as Retro Bill for children. He also has a series of videos that are shown in schools throughout the country. His visit to York came during a three-week school tour through Maine and was sponsored by School Resource Officer Scott Cogger and the Village Elementary parent group.

Second grader Lily Reed said she couldn't wait to see Retro Bill at school on Thursday. When Retro Bill asked her why that was, she said, "Because you're cool!"

While Russ was making a good living as a writer, producer and director in Hollywood, Calif., he said, "I wanted my life to mean something." He decided to dedicate his life to making a positive difference. The best way for him to make that difference was by getting into the hearts and minds of youth, he said. Now he spends his days spreading the D.A.R.E. message, one he thinks is second to none.

Scarborough Police Department Officer and State D.A.R.E. Coordinator Joe Giacomantonio escorted Retro Bill on his tour through Maine. " Retro Bill covers a wide variety of issues for children, with a flare and flavor that we don't have as D.A.R.E. officers," Giacomantonio commented. "He certainly makes an impression," Giacomantonio said. "There's a lot of craziness, but a good message in there too."

Russ said students validate his crazy performance by walking away smiling and laughing. Though the important messages came across in an unusual way, they were certainly absorbed by students at Village Elementary School on Thursday!



January 14, 2006

Golden West Elementary School students laugh at Retro Bill as he delivers his powerful anti-drug message Friday. His wacky antics and appearance are used to empower and encourage students to be their best by building their confidence through safety and self-esteem tips delivered in an energetic and entertaining way. (Photo: Craig Sanders)

Retro Bill delivers his message of self-esteem

MANTECA, CA - With the help of a rubber chicken, Mr. Potato Head and a Hula-Hoop, Retro Bill brought his message of self-esteem, safety and responsibility to an assembly at Golden West Elementary School on Friday.

He said the props - along with sound effects and impressions - help students listen to what he's saying.

Like getting across something important he learned from his grandma. "It was as simple and basic as a Hula-Hoop - What comes around goes around," said Retro Bill, also known as Bill Russ.

"If you stay in school, and get good grades, ... good things will come your way in your life," he said. "No matter what, never give up!"

Russ has performed at all of the Manteca Unified schools throughout the school year. Caroline Thibodeau, district health services coordinator enthusiastically said, "He makes a great impression on these kids!"


Eric Thayer / Special to The Star

Bill Russ, who goes by the name Retro Bill in his nationwide safety and self-esteem programs for children, makes a point with a plastic chicken during a performance Wednesday at Junipero Serra School in Ventura.

Retro Bill gives students a boost!
D.A.R.E. 'safety buddy' presents entertaining lessons in Ventura
By Erinn Hutkin

To demonstrate the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet, Retro Bill looked to his friend Mr. Potato Head.

As he stood on stage Wednesday at Ventura's Junipero Serra School, Retro Bill -- children's advocate and motivational speaker -- dropped Mr. Potato Head, scattering plastic potato eyes, ears and hands across the stage.

Eric Thayer / Special to The Star

Retro Bill made his points about self-esteem, good choices and safety, using props such as this Hula Hoop, a range of facial expressions and humor, to an appreciative audience Wednesday at Junipero Serra School in Ventura.

"Boys and girls, you do not want this to happen to you," he said, lifting Mr. Potato Head as a plastic arm fell to the floor, followed by feet. "He is a mashed potato."

With a Bill and Ted-like "Whooah," Retro Bill delivered messages kids absorbed with giggles -- be safe and make good choices. Lying and bullying hurt, he said. Drugs and alcohol are bad. Being an individual is cool.

Also known as Hollywood actor Bill Russ, Retro Bill is the official "safety buddy" of D.A.R.E. America, a drug and violence prevention program. Using $250,000 of his own money, Retro Bill created a D.A.R.E. safety video used in 350,000 classrooms.

He travels nationwide performing safety and self-esteem shows. He's talking with networks about his own program. Starting this week, he will be a regular on Leeza Gibbons' national radio show, "Leeza at Night."

"Whoooah," he repeatedly said in surfer-boy disbelief.



Retro Bill: Outrageously normal
Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

VAN WERT, OH - For a guy who has such a serious message, Retro Bill is having w-a-a-a-y too much fun presenting it. A cross between a 1950s-era Elvis and Mr. Rogers, Retro Bill presents his mega-decibel message about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and the need for respect and self-esteem while sporting an outrageous pompadour and flame-streaked jacket and shirt. It's the kind of presentation that gets young kids' attention, but it's certainly no act.

"What you see, is what you get," says actor-writer-director Bill Russ, Retro Bill's alter ego. "I totally believe in what I say to kids and I take what I do very seriously." A military brat, Russ said his father was a drill sergeant who demonstrated what "tough love" means to his children. He noted that his parents instilled in him some very traditional values, including duty, honor and love of country, God and family. "And my teachers taught me everything I do," he added.

Using a Hula Hoop, Mr. Potato Head, Silly String, safety cones, a boxing glove and other props, Retro Bill's presentation, developed over a seven-year period, is designed to get students' attention. After he's got students listening, he slips in the serious stuff -- his anti-drug, anti-alcohol, anti-smoking, anti-violence message, coupled with how kids can develop a positive self-esteem. He uses the Hula Hoop to demonstrate that "what goes around, comes around" -- an anti-violence message. He uses the safety cones to show that "the shortest distance is a straight line" and talks about how bad decisions cause people to lose direction. He uses Mr. Potato Head to demonstrate why it's important to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle and to buckle up in a car.

Basically, Russ's live presentations include the same kind of information that's on an award-winning video, "DARE Safety Tips Video starring Retro Bill," that he produced using $250,000 of his own money and donated to the national DARE organization. Where did the money come from? "I started out in dog suits in front of car dealerships in 100-degree weather and worked up to directing music videos and commercials for Seiko and other companies," Russ said, adding that he saved most of what he made during those years. "I also maxed out my credit cards and had my electricity turned off," he told adults at the Marsh Foundation.

The video and his live presentations, which he makes all over the country 300 days a year, are obviously something he loves to do. "I tell people to find their passion in life and then live it," Russ said. "That's what I'm doing." He's also working on a television show idea with Leeza Gibbons. In talking one-on-one with Russ, it's almost surprising, when considering his outrageous Retro Bill costume and presentation, to realize just how down-to-earth he really is. He has a very conservative philosophy of life, and doesn't hesitate to tell you that he "walks the talk" when it comes to being alcohol-, drug- and smoke-free.

He also tones down his message when talking to parents, teachers and law enforcement officers, like he did last night at the Marsh Foundation auditorium. To adults, he stressed the importance of setting a good example to children. "You must exhibit the same behavior when you're not working as you do on the job," Retro Bill noted. He also provided adults with his version of the "Who, What, When, Where and Why" scenario that journalists use to "get the facts" for articles. His version is this:

Who -- Is my greatest hero? What -- Have I done to make a positive difference in someone's life? When -- Is the last time I knew I made a positive difference in someone's life? Where - Will be the place and moment I use something I learned here? Why -- Are you what you are?

Most importantly, Retro Bill, told adults in concluding his talk at the Marsh, is not to give up on children. "They are our future." And maybe Retro Bill is theirs.


          By TITUS GEE
          Valley Press Staff Writer
          Photo: Jennifer X. Hernandez

The speakers shook, the room rumbled and the children came to their feet. The Retro Bill Safety and Self-esteem Show was in full stride Thursday on the stage of the multi-purpose room at Irving Branch Elementary School at Edwards Air Force Base, the audience of fourth and fifth-graders rapt with the entertainer’s antics.

For roughly 45 minutes, Retro Bill, played by Bill Russ of Beverly Hills, took the children on a roller-coaster ride of silly humor and quiet intensity. With the energy evoked by the flames that emblazoned his black clothing (even the shoes), he gamboled through a rapid- fire succession of ear-straining oral sound effects, slapstick comedy, and serious topics.

“Do your homework or you will NOT GET SMART!” he said. “Am I right?” His body language demanded a response and the children did not disappoint. “Yeah!” they yelled, but Retro Bill was already moving on, searching for his next gag among the props that littered his table. No child talked, giggled or squirmed except in response to the man on stage.



Alaska's National Guard Drug Demand Reduction Unit
Brings Retro Bill to Alaska
Photo by: Jim Lavrakas

"Retro Bill" - Bill Russ of Hollywood, CA - began his all-grades assembly, left, at Taku Elementary with a sight gag regarding bullying Wednesday morning. The nationally known children's safety and self-esteem performer is making a one-week tour in Alaska, taking his show to seventeen schools and two Boys & Girls Clubs of America programs in the Anchorage and Mat-Su school districts. He also traveled with United States Senator Ted Stevens and other dignitaries to Fort Greely as part of the Alaska National Guard's "Operation Santa Claus." Retro Bill was a Keynote Speaker at Fort Greely, addressing the base personnel and their children. This is Retro Bill's second trip to Alaska. Last year his tour included twenty-three Bush villages and towns. It was sponsored by DARE Alaska and the Alaska State Troopers. Retro Bill's message includes talk on bullying, teasing, internet predators, loneliness and the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.


With the United States Army
Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot & Crew
that flew me on my tour of

Click to enlarge

Retro Bill on tour at the "Top of the World!"

Barrow, Alaska - America's Northernmost City

Retro Bill arrives at Fort Greely, Alaska
for "Operation Santa Claus!"


Retro Bill and Leeza Gibbons team up to
children's entertainment!

Leeza goes “Retro!”
By Michael Starr

“Extra’s” Leeza Gibbons is wearing many hats, successfully, these days.

Not only does she have her “Hollywood Confidential” radio gig, and her “Alzheimer’s Memory Foundation,” Gibbons also executive-produces E!’s “Michael Essany Show” – and now she’s got a new show in the hopper.

Gibbons is shopping a kid’s program, “The Retro Bill Show,” which stars Bill Russ as "Retro Bill," a 50's styled hepcat, who entertains, educates, informs and inspires children of all ages. (He came highly recommended by Kate Capshaw, Larry King, and Jay Leno, among others).

Gibbons and Russ have entered into a development deal between her TV production company and Bill Russ Productions, Inc. Together, they will shop "The Retro Bill Show" to various networks.

"Thumbs Up!"
 from  Leeza Gibbons!


SERVING Los Angeles County, San Fernando Valley, Conejo Valley, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita, Glendale, Burbank

Photos: David Crane/Staff Photographer

Retro Bill brought his one of a kind "Safety & Self-esteem Show "Friday to the Kindergarten through Sixth-graders at Bouquet Canyon School in Saugus.  Working in concert with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Drug Abuse Resistance

Education STAR Unit, and the California National Guard the children's character urged kids to keep safe, and stay drug and alcohol free.  The character Retro Bill is the brainchild of Hollywood actor, writer, director Bill Russ, who has taken his show to schools across the country.  His "teaching tools" include props, humor, sound effects and retro costumes.


Serving Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, Stevenson Ranch, Valencia, Castaic and Agua Dulce

Saturday, October 02, 2004


"Retro Bill," who is being referred to as the "21st Century Mr. Rogers,"  delighted students of Bouquet Canyon School on Friday as he teamed up his cool 1950's era wardrobe with safety and self-esteem tips, combined with an anti-drug and alcohol message.  Retro Bill, whose real name is Bill Russ, puts on a lively and interactive show with props, sound effects and humor to deliver his messages of keeping safe while staying away from drugs.  Russ produced, directed and stars in an Award-Winning safety video that he made and donated to the nation's D.A.R.E. program.

Photo By Gary Chopper/The Signal


May/June 2004

Coast to Coast in the USA!

SAFETY - Retro Bill Comes to Knoxville

Created by director, writer, producer and actor Bill Russ, RETRO BILL is the official DARE Safety Buddy and host of National Kids Day. Through lively performances, props, sound effects and humor, he gives youngsters powerful, age-specific messages of safety, self-esteem and character.

AAA East Tennessee, East Tennessee Childrens' Hospital, Rural Metro and the Cochran Family McDonald's Restaurant sponsored RETRO BILL's visit February 27th & 28th. He spoke to children at three schools (Karns High School, Cedar Bluff Middle School, Farragut Primary School), signed autographs at two restaurants (McDonald's and Brewsters Old Fashioned Ice Cream), Blockbuster Video and appeared on two radio programs during his visit. RETRO BILL will return in May as the Keynote Speaker for the Knox County Sheriff's Department county-wide DARE graduation, where 3,500 Fifth Graders will attend his performance at the Thompson-Boling Arena at the University of Tennessee.

"Thumbs up!" Retro Bill with Knox County Sheriff's Deputy Debbie Sexton at the Cochran Family McDonald's in Knoxville, Tennessee.


Tuesday, June 10, 2003 Serving San Luis Obispo
County, California

Using some of his trademarks… A "Hula-Hoop" and an Abraham Lincoln cardboard cutout, “Retro Bill” Russ’ performance in San Luis Obispo County capped a 17-week program of drug abuse resistance and anti-violence education in seven local schools.

“Retro Bill” entertains DARE graduates!
By Angela Manese-Lee

Dressed to impress in flame-printed Chuck Taylor Converse high-top sneakers, neon green shirt and hair-sprayed pompadour, “Retro Bill” Russ brought a message of safety and perseverance to 85 DARE program graduates at Los Osos Middle School on Friday.

Russ is the writer, director, producer and director of an Award-Winning DARE Safety Tips Video starring Retro Bill that is currently being seen by 26 million children in 350,000 schools across the country.

His performance capped a 17-week program of drug abuse resistance education for students in seven local schools.  Los Osos Middle School was just one of the many schools “Retro Bill” visited as he passed through San Luis Obispo County this past week...



May 31, 2003

Great Falls, Montana

Students gleefully participate in Retro Bill's program.

Retro Bill is a Hit in Great Falls!

Retro Bill is D.A.R.E.'s National safety buddy. He has been here in Great Falls since May 29 and has presented his Safety and Self-esteem Show for over 2,700 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade students. He also was the featured speaker at a D.A.R.E. Graduation held at West Elementary, and paid a special visit to the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind. Students from fifteen schools in the Great Falls area clamored for a personally autographed Retro Bill 8x10 photo. The always up-beat Retro Bill (at his own expense) signed one for every child!

Retro Bill performed for over 2,700 excited fans brought to West Elementary from fifteen local schools!


Grand Rapids, Michigan

  April 29, 2003

"Thumbs up for healthy living!"
Elementary school students in
Grand Rapids, Michigan
show their approval for Retro Bill.

‘Retro Bill’ tells students to be cool!

The Hollywood actor
promotes D.A.R.E. with
unusual props.

By Melissa Kruse
The Grand Rapids Press

An orange safety cone reminds him when it’s time for a haircut, but that’s nothing compared to the meaning “Retro Bill” can extract from a Hula Hoop and a blender.

The performer associated with Drug Alcohol Resistance Education programs visited Highlands Middle School and Grandville Christian School Monday, delivering his anti-drug message the only way Retro Bill can: with a faux leopard skin jacket and a gravity-defying pompadour...



Using a Hula Hoop,
Retro Bill teaches children
“what goes around comes around.”

Retro Bill takes the town by storm!


Jim Carrey, step aside. There’s a new dude on the scene that’s changing the lives of children everywhere and he’s about to give you a run for your money.

Part comedian, part actor, Retro Bill made an appearance in Rockford, Michigan last week to promote safety and self-esteem at Valley View and Crestwood Elementary schools. As for money, he laid out $250,000 of his own money to produce an Award-Winning, anti-drug and safety video which he donated to the nation’s D.A.R.E. program. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education)

A blast from the past right out of the 1950’s, Retro Bill’s live performances are as inspirational as they are energetic, with a few antics tossed in to keep the crowd on their toes...



Serving the Fox Valley
since 1846

October 20, 2002
Aurora, Illinois

West High graduate:
Producer of safety
video has had success
in several arenas
By Tiffany Sanders

           When “Retro Bill” brings his award-winning Safety Show to Fox Chase Elementary School in Oswego on Thursday, it will be a triumphant and colorful homecoming for Retro Bill’s creator and alter-ego- writer/director/producer Bill Russ.

“Retro Bill”
returns to Fox Valley
for Red Ribbon Week

        It is a fitting return, since Russ cites growing up in the heartland as the key to his outlook on life and his success.
        Russ is a graduate of West Aurora High School and made his filmmaking debut as a student at Waubonsee Community College and Chicago’s Columbia College.  The decade that followed would be the envy of anyone with creative tendencies...



Friday, April 26, 2002


D.A.R.E. celebrity reaches hometown audience in a Aurora

By Hal Dardick

Wearing his trademark neon-green dress shirt and a faux cow skin blazer, Retro Bill was perfectly coifed in a 4-inch pompadour Thursday, when he returned to his hometown of Aurora to teach children some lessons of life...


Tribune photos by John Kringas

Bill Russ Jr., who portrays Retro Bill for the Drug Abuse  Resistance Education program, speaks to pupils Thursday in  Aurora.


Elgin, Illinois                                     April 24, 2002

'Retro Bill' teaches lasting safety lessons to Gifford students

By Anne Marie Apollo

ELGIN - If anyone can look wholesome while wearing a leopard-print jacket over a lime-green shirt,
it's "Retro Bill" Russ. With the wardrobe of a Las Vegas lounge singer, but a clean-cut message about safety, and the importance of individuality, Russ is the national star of Drug Abuse Resistance Education videos...



Saturday, April 13, 2002

Retro Bill

He moves kids forward by taking them back

Retro Bill is out of the Elvis era and in Port St. Lucie to lead a march for D.A.R.E.

By Teresa Lane

PORT ST. LUCIE - Every morning before announcements and the Pledge of Allegiance, thousands of St. Lucie County school children watch Retro Bill twist and shout in his faux leopard coat and jet-black pompadour, spewing safety tips at a frenetic pace kids eat like candy...



Learn Safety
With Retro Bill
-Vanesa Mateu

     With after-school sports, video games, homework assignments, and cartoons all competing for your child's attention, how do you find a way to teach your child how to be aware and safe in his everyday surroundings? Big hair, a leopard print shirt, and the zany antics of Retro Bill should do the trick...



Serving Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, Stevenson Ranch, Valencia, Castaic and Agua Dulce

Sunday, December 02, 2001

Retro Bill is a Blast From the Past


Valencia resident brings safety message to children nationwide



By Margie Anne Clark

Staff Features Writer

The fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students of Valencia Valley Elementary School took a blast from the past as Retro Bill, aka Bill Russ, the star of the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program’s latest safety video, paid a visit to the school.  The recently released video is part of a national campaign to keep kids safe while staying free of alcohol and drugs...



Photos By Renah Agha/The Signal
In videos and in school assemblies Bill Russ (Retro Bill) encourages children to avoid unsafe situations and alcohol and drugs. Russ is a Valencia resident.


SERVING Los Angeles County, San Fernando Valley, Conejo Valley, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita, Glendale, Burbank

Retro Bill DAREs to be different

By Kathleen Sweeney
Staff Writer

    SANTARITA - It was the age of innocence - cruising the strip in souped-up hot rods, wearing poodle skirts and slicked-back black and jamming to "Hound Dog."

    It was the 1950s and the portrayal of this era in the movie "American Graffiti" that caught Bill Russ' attention...




The Signal
Serving Los Angeles County

December 21, 2001

‘Retro Bill’ Rewards Students

Retro Bill rewards Canyon Students with Magic Mountain passes


    Remember when you were a kid and your mom and dad told you that “Good Guys Win” or “If you study hard and stay out of trouble you’ll be rewarded.” 


"Retro Bill" gives a thumbs up, alongside Juvenal Camacho (center left), Salvador Rodriguez, and Canyon Principal Vicki Engbrecht, as students receive their free Magic Mountain passes as part of the “Retro Bill Rewards Program.”

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