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February 9, 2011

Wham-O Has Heart – Labeled Merchandise Hits Shelves

Proceeds to Benefit Needy Children Around the World
LOS ANGELES (Feb. 9, 2011) – Wham-O® today announced the release of five products emblazoned with the Wham-O® Has Heart philanthropic organization logo. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Wham-O® Has Heart-labeled toys are dedicated to improving the lives of needy children in the United States and abroad.

The newly released Wham-O® Has Heart toys include the Frisbee® Pro Classic, Hula Hoop®, Superball®, Slip ‘n Slide® Double Wave Rider, and Snow TracBall®. The toys will be sold at Target, WalMart, Toys R Us, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Big 5, and other popular retail outlets.

Funds generated from the sale of Wham-O® Has Heart-labeled toys are donated to the Wham-O® Has Heart Foundation. The money is used to build orphanages, to dig wells to provide clean water, and to help people in the developing world build a better future. Funds are also used to help underserved communities in the U.S.

“When you buy a Wham-O® Has Heart Frisbee® Disc, Hula Hoop®, or Slip ‘n Slide®, you will be helping needy children in your community and in poverty stricken areas around the world,” said Wham-O Chief Executive Officer Kyle Aguilar.

Wham-O Has Heart was launched in early 2010. Executive Director Kevin Malone spent much of that first year in far-flung places such as Haiti and the Dominican Republic distributing toys and participating in relief activities. Malone also participated in numerous toy giveaways in the Greater Los Angeles area around the holidays.

Wham-O® toys are designed to encourage children and adults to go outside and play. The appeal of Frisbee®, Hula Hoop®, and Slip ‘n Slide® dates back half a century and spans national boundaries and disparate cultures. “People from around the world love Wham-O® because our toys are simple, durable and, most of all, fun,” said Aguilar.

Wham-O® Has Heart was launched in 2010. In one of the foundation’s earliest overseas missions, Wham-O® Has Heart Executive Director Kevin Malone flew to Haiti soon after a powerful earthquake struck in January 2010. While there he helped in emergency relief and reconstruction efforts. He went back several weeks later with a large supply of Frisbee® Discs, bringing smiles to the faces of children in the disaster-stricken island nation.

Later in 2010, Malone, who was general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1998 to 2001, took a trip to the Dominican Republic with New York Yankees superstar pitchers Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. The baseball greats distributed Wham-O® toys and much-needed aid to underprivileged children in that country.

Wham-O® Has Heart was also active in the United States in 2010. Just in time for the holidays, Malone and a team of elves from Wham-O® delivered a pick-up truck full of Wham-O® toys to the Spark of Love Toy Drive sponsored by ABC 7 News in Woodland Hills, Calf. A week later, Wham-O® Has Heart drove an even bigger truck full of Wham-O® toys to gang-impacted areas of South Central Los Angeles and Watts.

“The toy donation events that Wham-O® Has Heart held in various gang communities, including Jordan Downs Housing Project in Watts and the Pueblo Del Rio project in South Central L.A., reached a lot of kids. We had up to 300 people at each location and distributed more than 2,000 toys in total,” said Alfred Lomas, founder and executive director of LA Gang Tours, a Los Angeles-based gang intervention organization that collaborated in the events.

“These events were a great way to get members of these communities to put aside their differences and come together to bring joy to children,” said Kevin Malone. “We at Wham-O® Has Heart were thankful to have the opportunity to provide people in these neighborhoods some relief from violence, crime and other challenges that they face on a daily basis.”

Malone is planning a busy schedule of events and poverty relief activities for 2011, and proceeds from the sale of this newly released line of Wham-O® Has Heart label toys should help ensure that the foundation’s efforts are successful.

Wham-O® has been an American popular culture sensation since it was founded more than 60 years ago. Beginning with the Wham-O® Slingshot, Wham-O® toys such as the Original Frisbee® Disc, Slip ‘N Slide®, Hula Hoop® and Hacky Sack®, have captured the imagination of generations. More recently, Wham-O has taken on action sports with its Morey® and BZ® Bodyboards, Churchill® Fins, and Riva® Snowboards. Wham-O® designs and manufactures more than 70 products that are carried by sporting goods stores and mass retailers around in the world. Connect with Wham-O® at www.wham-o.com.

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