ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In his iconic song "IMAGINE" John Lennon asked us all to picture a world free from hunger – a message that lives on today through the global IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER campaign. For a fifth year artist and musician Yoko Ono Lennon generously lends her support to Hard Rock International and WhyHunger for IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER, a global campaign to combat childhood hunger and poverty through the backing of sustainable agriculture education and feeding programs for children and families in need. Proceeds from Hard Rock's campaign will directly benefit WhyHunger and its grassroots partners worldwide, working to advance long-term solutions to hunger and poverty by supporting community-based organizations that empower individuals and build self-reliance.
"IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER keeps the spirit of John's song 'Imagine' alive today," said Yoko Ono Lennon. "The campaign does more than imagine a world without hunger, it works every day to end a problem that affects millions of children and families around the globe."
In 2012, the co-producers of New Year's Eve in Times Square, Countdown Entertainment and the Times Square Alliance are also lending their support to the campaign. The partnership highlights an IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER presence in Times Square during the iconic, internationally viewed event, and will serve to increase and extend visibility for the campaign through the end of the holiday season. One of the annual highlights of the New Year's Eve in Times Square extravaganza has been the performance, just prior to midnight, of "Imagine." In recent years, it has been sung live by multi-platinum recording artists such as Cee-Lo and Taio Cruz.
"During my five years as a program ambassador I have traveled with WhyHunger, visited their grassroots partners and seen firsthand the needs of families worldwide, families that even in 2012 are going hungry," said Hamish Dodds, president and CEO, Hard Rock International, and Global Ambassador for WhyHunger. "Through the IMAGINE campaign Hard Rock and WhyHunger have helped communities grow enough food to provide more than 5.5 million meals to children in 15 different countries and taught thousands of others techniques for sustained food production for a future free of hunger."
The IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER program launches in November 2012 continues throughout December 2012 with limited-edition merchandise, food drives, direct donations by texting IMAGINE to 50555, an employee ambassador contest and live music events at locations worldwide, featuring talent like The Script. Proceeds from the campaign will be donated directly to WhyHunger to benefit local grassroots partners, including the Pathfinder Academy in Kenya; the Pattanarak Foundation in Thailand; City of Joy in India, Tohono O'odham Community Action in Sells, Arizona , USA and the Peasant Movement of Papaye (MPP) in Haiti. Each grassroots partner focuses on children living in poverty and helps teach sustainable farming and entrepreneurial skills for the future.
Additionally, donations to the "IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER" campaign will also go to support WhyHunger's long-time partners in the New York and New Jersey area post Hurricane Sandy. These organizations are on the front lines, providing food, water and critical services to their neighbors in the aftermath of the storm and aiding in their long-term recovery. Area partners include Added Value in Red Hook, Brooklyn and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
"Our approach is centered on the belief that the solutions and power needed to end hunger and poverty are found within local communities, at the grassroots level," said Bill Ayres, founder and executive director of WhyHunger. "With incredible partners like Yoko Ono Lennon, Hard Rock International and the thousands of individuals who get involved in the IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER campaign each year, we provide the support and resources needed to help some of the most innovative grassroots partners around the world build long-lasting, sustainable solutions to end hunger in their communities."
"For many New Year's Eve is a time when people imagine a better life for themselves, for others, or for those around the world," said Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance. "With the countdown to New Year's Eve approaching, we hope that people will resolve to help end hunger through this important partnership with WhyHunger and Hard Rock International."
Fans are encouraged to share their thoughts and IMAGINE experiences via social media by sending messages, photos and videos to the official channels for the 2012 IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER campaign: Facebook.com/HardRock or Twitter.com/HardRock, and by utilizing the hashtag #IMAGINENOHUNGER.
$1 Feeds a Child for a Day, $10 Helps a Family Start a Food Garden
Through the IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER campaign every dollar makes an impact. Beginning on Thursday, November 1, 2012, Hard Rock will offer limited-edition IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER merchandise, available exclusively at Rock Shops at Hard Rock Cafe, Hotels and Casino properties around the world and online at www.hardrock.com.
Hard Rock's 2012 IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER merchandise offerings include:
- Bracelet* – This red bracelet is embossed with the Hard Rock and WhyHunger logos and #IMAGINENOHUNGER. ($1 or more donation in cafe)
- Men's T-Shirt** – Inspired by John and Yoko's philanthropic vision, this navy cotton tee features a winged rock and roll guitar with "IMAGINE THERE"S NO HUNGER" on the front, and the word "Imagine" with John Lennon's caricature and signature on back. ($26)
- Women's T-Shirt** – Inspired by John and Yoko's philanthropic vision, this burgundy cotton tee features a winged rock and roll guitar with "IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER" on the front, and the word "Imagine" with John Lennon's caricature and signature on back. ($26 exclusively at hardrock.com)
- Bear*** – This grey bear dons a blue and purple satin bow, and features the Hard Rock logo on one paw and John Lennon's iconic caricature on the other. ($18)
- Pin****– This gold base metal pin features a red guitar with "IMAGINE THERE'S NO HUNGER" across purple wings. The pin also features John Lennon's signature and the Hard Rock Cafe logo. ($12 exclusively at hardrock.com)
*100% of donated amount will be donated to WhyHunger grassroots partners
**15% of net revenue will be donated to WhyHunger
***15% of net revenue will be donated to WhyHunger grassroots partners
****100% of net revenue will be donated to WhyHunger
For more information, please visit www.hardrock.com.
WhyHunger is a leader in building the movement to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food and by supporting grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment. Founded in 1975 by the late Harry Chapin & current Executive Director Bill Ayres, WhyHunger works to put an end to hunger suffered by 49 million Americans and nearly 1 billion people worldwide. WhyHunger's main programs include the National Hunger Hotline 1-866-3-HUNGRY, which refers individuals in need of emergency food assistance to soup kitchens, food banks, government nutrition programs & community organizations in their neighborhoods; the Grassroots Action Network, which provides information, networking opportunities, capacity building & access to over 8,000 anti-hunger & poverty community organizations across the United States and around the world; and Artists Against Hunger & Poverty which is supported by Bruce Springsteen, Michael McDonald, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Joss Stone, Darryl McDaniels, Jackson Browne, O.A.R, and many others. For more information visit www.whyhunger.org.
About Hard Rock International
With a total of 178 venues in 55 countries, including 139 cafes, 18 hotels and 8 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the companies' two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, Fl., both owned and operated by HRI parent company The Seminole Tribe of Florida., as well as other exciting locations including Bali, Biloxi, Chicago, Cancun, Las Vegas, San Diego and Singapore. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include Santiago, Nabq, San Jose and Guatemala City. New Hard Rock Hotel projects include Aruba, Riviera Maya, Abu Dhabi and Shenzhen and Haikou in China. New Hard Rock Casino projects in development include Hungary and Northfield, OH. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com.
SOURCE Hard Rock International