CHARLOTTE, N.C. – An accomplished youth art director with nearly two decades mentoring artistic expression and healthy living to thousands of kids throughout the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California was honored by Dole BB #:124463 as a “Healthy Hero of the Soul” during a surprise ceremony yesterday.
Creative Arts Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley & Eastside Lalo Marquez, center, holds a Healthy Everyday Hero banner from Dole Food Company at the Club’s Festival of the Arts event on June 22, 2022. Accompanying him are Bobby Banana, Dole’s iconic mascot, and William Goldfield, Dole’s director of corporate communications.
Lalo Marquez, creative arts director at the Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley & Eastside in Monterey Park, Calif., was acknowledged by Dole Food Company as part of Dole Healthy Heroes, Assemble!, a nine-month empowered-living initiative that recruits and celebrates everyday heroes in four categories – mind, soul, heart and home – involved in the fight for a healthier, more selfless and extraordinary world.
Today’s special proclamation was made during an art festival that Marquez organized to show original paintings and art created by more than 150 kids as part of the Club’s Mobile Art & Design Studio. The Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley & Eastside serve more than 6,000 youth ages 6 to 18 every year with after-school tutoring, art, music, nutrition education, cooking, sports, social and emotional learning and other programs.
“I was beyond honored to be proclaimed by Dole as a hero simply for doing what I love to do: encouraging kids to be their healthiest and most creative selves,” said Marquez. “Since everyone at the Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley & Eastside can be considered heroes, I share this award with all the staff, teachers, counselors and volunteers who remain committed to the kids every day.”
“This distinction and support from Dole is even more crucial during this time of pandemic-era shutdowns, art-program closures and school budget cuts,” he said.
To commemorate Marquez, Dole collaborated with the Club to inspire an art festival showing of student-created paintings of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as many of the Marvel Super Heroes that inspired the Dole empowered-living program. The produce leader interrupted the festival to present Marquez with a surprise Dole Healthy Heroes certificate and financial contribution after stocking the Club’s refrigerators with fresh produce and packaged salads and salad kits.
Also featured during the festival were musical performances by Club students, a do-it-yourself healthier banana split bar featuring DOLE Bananas and DOLE Strawberries, nonfat yogurt and healthy toppings and a live visit by Dole’s iconic mascot, Bobby Banana.
“Health and wellness is as much about feeding your soul as feeding your body. We salute heroes like Lalo that dedicate their lives to inspiring the next generation of artists, painters, poets, musicians and others with a passion for creativity,” said William Goldfield, Dole Food Company’s director of corporate communications. “It is this selflessness and commitment to others that defines what we at Dole call an everyday healthy hero.”
The broader Dole Healthy Heroes, Assemble! initiative, running now through September, features original recipes, DOLE Banana stickers and DOLE Pineapple tags, digital downloads, web and social activations and other free deliverables inspired by the Super Heroes of the Marvel Universe. A new set of character-themed assets will be released at the start of each six-week mind, soul, heart and home hero recruitment campaign.
A highlight of the program to come are more original recipes, banana stickers and pineapple tags celebrating the theatrical releases of Marvel Studios’ Thor: Love and Thunder on July 8.
Additional everyday heroes will be christened and announced by Dole throughout the year. Heroes 13 years or older (19 in Alabama and Nebraska and 21 in Mississippi) are encouraged to enter Dole’s Celebrate Super Heroes Contest for an opportunity to win up to $3,000 cash prize. There is no cost to enter but some restrictions apply. For full contest rules, click here.
Details and all program elements of Dole Healthy Heroes, Assemble!, including the contest, character recipes, digital downloads, dedicated social media campaign and blogger partnerships, can be found at www.dole.com/Disney, which is being continually updated with fresh content.
About Dole Food Company, Inc.
Dole Food Company, part of Dole plc, is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole is an industry leader in many of the products it sells, as well as in nutrition education. For more information, please visit www.dole.com.