Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Serving San Luis Obispo
County, California

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

Using some of his trademarks… A Wham-O 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.

    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.

    Kevin Breedlove, 12, said he liked Retro Bill because he could relate to him.

    “Even though he’s a grown up, he acts like he’s one of us, like he’s 12 years old,” Kevin said.

    With mini traffic cones, an empty blender and a yellow Wham-O Hula Hoop, “Retro Bill” advised students to follow their dreams and resist the hazards of drugs, alcohol, and violence.

    Russ began touring the nation as “Retro Bill” three years ago and has since made four tours through San Luis Obispo County.  At Friday’s program, Sheriff Patrick Hedges presented “Retro Bill” with a certificate of appreciation from the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department. 

    Friday’s performance was Retro Bill’s last in the county for the 2002-2003 school year.  He will be back in the county for a multi-city tour in October of 2003.

    Russ has plans to move into television with Retro Bill.  He has teamed with TV Talk Show Host and Television Producer, Leeza Gibbons to develop “The Retro Bill Show.” 

    San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Deputy Susy Corriea said, “Retro Bill sends a positive message to the kids and does it in a way that gets their attention,” she added, “He’s exactly what the DARE program needed to give it that extra oomph!”

Copyright The San Luis Obispo Tribune 2003

RETRO BILL™ is a registered trademark of
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