|Updated Saturday April 27, 2013||
Retro Bill and Lucky Kat TV team up to teach "good character" to elementary school children with a brand new live-action/animated DVD featuring the 7 "Right On's" of Good Character:
and informative video's unique combination of live-action and
animation featuring Retro Bill's fast-paced, high energy style
combined with Lucky and Lexie Kat in an animated world makes
this character-based DVD unique and unlike any other
character-themed DVD available. The DVD fulfills a lifelong
dream of Retro Bill (Bill Russ) to write, produce, direct and
star in a "Marry Poppins" style live-action-animation fusion.
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.
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.
Bill's work with Tim Hortons continues his diverse hospitality
and customer service motivational speaking for restaurant,
lodging and airline companies.
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.
Restaurant, lodging & airline companies have tapped into a new, unique and effective resource—RETRO 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!"
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.
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.
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
and presented a special Family Show at the Timmins Public Library!
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
students attended Retro Bill's presentations in Caledon and
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.
NETWORKS and RETRO BILL
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.
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
The Andrew Gomez Dream Foundation, City of Hope, Food 4 Africa,
Fran Drescher's Cancer Schmancer Movement and the Pancreatic Cancer
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
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.
LARRY KING and television/radio celebrity LEEZA GIBBONS have called
"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
their service to our country. Accompanying Retro Bill were representatives
of DARE America and the Bexar County Sheriff's Department.
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.
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
can be seen on the
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.
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,
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
RETRO BILL is celebrating his 14th year as the Official International DARE Safety Buddy in 2012 by appearing as an Instructor & Keynote Speaker at the International DARE Officers Training Conference at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Atlanta, GA..
Retro Bill is scheduled to return as a Classroom Instructor and Keynote Speaker at the 2013 International DARE Officer's Training Conference to be held in Cincinnati, OH.
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.
Attention grabber with a message
By TOM MOOR
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.
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.
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.
By Jessica Selva
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
Bill brings more than laughs
delivers his message of self-esteem
He said the props - along with sound effects and
impressions - help students listen to what he's saying.
"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!"
Retro Bill gives students a boost!
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.
"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.
Bill: Outrageously normal
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:
By TITUS GEE
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.
National Guard Drug Demand Reduction Unit
"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.
Saturday, October 02, 2004
D.A.R.E. TO BE RETRO
'Retro Bill' teaches lasting safety lessons to Gifford students
By Anne Marie
ELGIN - If anyone can
look wholesome while wearing a leopard-print jacket over a
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...
Sunday, December 02, 2001
Retro Bill is a Blast From the Past
RETRO BILL is a registered trademark of Bill Russ Productions, Inc.
All rights reserved.