Charlie Wraps Up Centennial Promotion Tour
Centennial Charlie, the popular official ambassador of the 2010 RV Centennial, recently wrapped up a cross-country tour that took him to RV plants, consumer shows and RV dealerships in 19 states across the country.
But Centennial Charlie’s time in the spotlight is not over, as he will next appear as the star of an amusing video co-starring the RV industry employees, consumers, and friends he met on his goodwill tour. The video will be shown during the one-hour program that is a centerpiece of the RV Centennial Celebration, set for June 7 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart, Ind. according to a news release from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
Centennial Charlie, who is inspired by the bear in Go RVing’s 2010 “Ambassadors of Affordability” ad campaign, proved to be very busy at consumer RV shows this spring, according to show promoters. Dianne Seymour of Affinity Group said, “Centennial Charlie visited the Colorado RV, Sports, and Boat Show in March. He went white water rafting, rode a Boss Hoss motorcycle, enjoyed fishing, boating, four-wheeling, camping and sightseeing. He had a great visit in Colorado and we were honored to have him at our show.”
Charlie was also very busy during his visits to RV manufacturers, suppliers and dealers this spring. “Charlie had a great time visiting Winnebago Industries’ plant in Forest City,” said Sheila Davis, Winnebago’s public relations manager. “He helped build a motorhome from start to finish, welding the chassis, putting the floor in, helping install a roof, lowering a slideout room into place, and sewing seat covers! Charlie also attended the Forest City community celebration, where he was very popular with local pre-school kids who read bear stories with him.”
While visiting Little Dealer, Little Prices in Phoenix this April, Charlie pitched in around the dealership, working as a salesperson, an RV technician and a parts specialist. “He even operated a forklift!” said owner Debbie Brunoforte. She added, “Although the customers thought he was cute, I heard some salespeople were miffed when he ate all the doughnuts before the sales meeting even started.”
Charlie spent a few days visiting members of Congress in the nation’s capital, and proved to be popular on both sides of the aisle.
“Centennial Charlie spent a whirlwind week meeting with key members of Congress and learning the ‘bear’ essentials of how things get done inside the beltway,” said RVIA Vice President of Government Affairs Dianne Farrell. “In addition to his largely ceremonial role as ambassador for the RV Centennial, Charlie was quite an effective lobbyist promoting House and Senate Resolutions designating June 2010 as RV Centennial Celebration month.”
Farrell reported that Centennial Charlie met with Minority Leader Boehner, R-Ohio, and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., as well as representatives from the Indiana delegation, including Democrat Joe Donnelly and Republicans Dan Burton and Mike Pence.